(NationalSentinel) Republicans in Congress, as well as President Donald J. Trump, campaigned on one primary message: Repeal Obamacare. But now that the opportunity is finally presenting itself, for some reason too many Republican lawmakers still want to let it exist in some form or another.
As reported by The Daily Signal, however, GOP committee chairpersons in Congress along with conservative lawmakers are not keen on keeping Obamacare in any form or at any level:
According to a senior Republican aide, GOP committee chairmen, as well as conservative lawmakers, are moving against the bill introduced earlier this week by Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Susan Collins of Maine.
Congressional leaders and Republican lawmakers discussed the legislation Thursday during a session on health care at the GOP’s joint retreat in Philadelphia.
The bill, called the Patient Freedom Act, would allow states that “like Obamacare to keep Obamacare,” while also giving states that are unhappy with the law the freedom to implement a new health care system.
While that may seem like federalism at its finest, the fact is that taxpayers who don’t live in Obamacare states would still have to fund it; many Obamacare enrollees through the exchanges created by the law are subsidized with tax dollars on some level.
“If you’re going to let New York and California keep Obamacare, but you’re going to pay for it federally, essentially you’re asking states like Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia—all these states that are going to choose they don’t like Obamacare—you’re going to ask them to pay for New York and California’s Obamacare,” said Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP presidential nomination last year.
Paul has introduced his own repeal measure, saying the state-centric Obamacare legislation wasn’t likely to unite members of his party.
“’If you like Obamacare, you can keep Obamacare’ is not a ringing sort of rallying cry that Republicans across the country are going to rally to,” he said. “I would say the vast majority of Republicans who voted in the election thought they were voting for people to repeal Obamacare, not keep it.”
Added Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, former chair of the House Freedom Caucus: “We already know people don’t like Obamacare,” he told The Daily Signal. “This just doesn’t make sense to me. It’s the wrong way to go.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Thursday morning repealing and replacing the health care law would be one of two top items on their agenda. It’s also something high on President Trump’s list of goals.