Recently, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has been criticized by fellow Republican Senators and even President Trump. The criticism comes as Republicans in the Senate are attempting to corral votes for a replacement of Obamacare. From what I understand, the bill authored by Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana will send health care money back to the states. An article on The Hill explains it this way,
“There are several provisions of Graham-Cassidy that conservatives can embrace. The amendment increases the maximum allowable contribution for health savings accounts (HSAs) and allows individuals to pay for their health insurance coverage out of their HSA. It also modernizes Medicaid, putting the more than 50-year-old program on a budget and limiting its annual growth. Still, Graham-Cassidy is not ObamaCare repeal, nor does it represent the true principles of federalism. But it is the last serious opportunity for health insurance reform under reconciliation, which allows the Senate to bypass the filibuster. After more than seven years of promises, this amendment is the last hope.”
It would be one thing in Senator Paul was the only Republican to promise a full repeal, but this is not the case. For the last seven years nearly all Republicans have campaigned on full repeal of Obamacare. Is this a full repeal of Obamacare? No, it is not. This is why Senator Rand Paul is opposed to it. Nonetheless, many Republicans are badgering Senator Paul for his reluctance in voting for the Graham-Cassidy bill.
According to an article in Politico,
‘If you vote against us, you’re voting to keep Obamacare,’ said Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, one of the bill’s namesakes, when asked about Paul’s intractable stance. ‘Period. End of story.’ ‘It just makes no sense,’ griped another GOP senator. ‘It just makes me want to pull my hair out that Rand Paul would team up with Susan Collins to defeat this bill.’ Even President Donald Trump piled on Paul, tweeting Wednesday: ‘Rand Paul is a friend of mine but he is such a negative force when it comes to fixing healthcare. Graham-Cassidy Bill is GREAT! Ends Ocare!’
Rand Paul isn’t the problem. If anyone is to blame it is the Republicans who promised a full repeal of Obamacare and now they’re not willing to deliver. Senator Paul is simply sticking to what he promised his constituents. Not to mention in recent months Senators John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have voted against all forms of Obamacare repeal and replace. Where is the criticism of these senators?
According to the same Politico article, “Paul is also drawing opposition from the anti-abortion lobby, a reliable ally. Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said Paul’s ‘outright opposition to the bill and his dismissiveness of the pro-life priorities within it is alarming and damaging’ and called his stance an ‘unacceptable position for a pro-life Senator to have.’"
This critique of Senator Paul by Susan B. Anthony List is unfair. This is more complex than looking at whether legislation has a pro-life provision or not and voting accordingly. It looks like SBA List might be going to bat for the Republican establishment in an effort to force Sen. Paul to get on board.
At the end of the day, Rand Paul says what he means and means what he says. When he promised to fully repeal Obamacare, he meant it. For him to not vote for any legislation that fails to do such, is keeping his promise. Many in the conservative movement are taking part in the Rand Paul bashing. Dr. Paul is a man of integrity who takes his promises serious. I can respect that.