Although all but one legislator in the House Freedom Caucus approved a revised version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is not yet convinced. He told “Your World with Neil Cavuto” during yesterday’s broadcast that the proposed reform has a ways to go before he is willing to approve it.
“It’s going to take a little bit of work to get me to a ‘yes’ vote, but I do have an open mind,” Paul said to Cavuto. “There’s not been a louder voice up here for replacing ObamaCare. I really want to repeal it. I just don’t want to replace it with ‘ObamaCare lite’ or another federal program.”
Fellow Kentuckian, Rep. Thomas Massie broke ranks with most of his colleagues in the House to be an opponent of the AHCA. “The AHCA is like a kidney stone- the House doesn’t care what happens to it, as long as they can pass it,” Massie said in a tweet posted on Wednesday. He opposed his frequent allies in the Freedom Caucus to oppose the AHCA that passed by a narrow 217-213 margin yesterday. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) was the only Freedom Caucus member to vote against the legislation.
Twenty Republican House legislators voted against the bill for various reasons. Many dissenters were moderates who felt that the bill repealed provisions of ObamaCare that helped Americans. The Senate is expected to re-tool the bill in the upcoming weeks, and there is no guarantee that the AHCA will pass that chamber. President Trump’s victory lap regarding the bill may have come too soon.
“I really frankly am not too excited about subsidizing the profit of insurance companies… There’s about $300 or $400 billion in this bill for insurance company profit.” Paul said.
Paul noted during the interview that annual profits of health insurance companies rose from $6 billion to $15 billion under ObamaCare. Regardless of whether the AHCA in its present form is approved or rejected by the Senate, any prospects of health care reform not involving coercive federal mandates and insurance company bailouts look increasingly dismal.