By Kevin Price, National News Editor.
This article originally appeared in his nationally syndicated column at the Huffington Post.
President Donald Trump is author of the book, “The Art of the Deal” and it appears he is applying all of his skills in the effort to reform Obamacare. House Speaker Paul Ryan sounded like a teenager discussing his favorite sport star in his description of seeing the President at work. “Negotiating” is what the President “does best” he said after Trump visited with conservatives who have expressed more concern than enthusiasm about the GOP establishment’s answer to Obamacare.
Virtually all conservative critics of the President’s reform bill believe that it is, at best, “Obamacare Lite.” They believe that the legislation, philosophically, makes the federal government’s role in healthcare for all Americans, permanent. Even though the new legislation replaces direct subsidies with tax cuts today, it still forces insurance companies to accept individuals with preexisting conditions (which makes it welfare, rather than insurance), and it allows people to stay on their parents plan until they are 26. Furthermore, with the federal government’s natural inclination to expand, the framework is there to go right back to Obamacare as it is today. For conservatives, the so called “American Health Care Act” is a shell game designed to dupe the American public into thinking they received meaningful reform.
The most conservative members of Congress, led by Sen. Rand Paul and others, wants to start with repeal accompanied by a list of market oriented reforms, rather than trading one government health care bill with another. Earlier this month, Sen. Paul reintroduced the last repeal bill Republicans passed under Obamacare (and later vetoed by Obama). The Senator’s office said in a statement: “U.S. Senator and physician Rand Paul reintroduced the same legislation, with an updated timeline, to repeal major components of Obamacare that an overwhelming Republican majority sent to President Obama’s desk in January 2016. Congressman Jim Jordan (OH) has introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Last week, Dr. Paul was joined by U.S. Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz in calling for the 2015 reconciliation bill to be the minimum standard for repeal moving forward.
“’The Republican Party is unified on Obamacare repeal,’ . “We can honor our promise right away by passing the same language we acted on in the last Congress. Then, we can have a separate vote on replacement legislation… (read more)