June 30, 2017
Now Supporting Immediate ACA Repeal, Would Have Been Better If Rand Paul Had Never Opposed GOP’s Original Plan
| Institute for Policy Innovation
DALLAS – Failing to gain the votes needed to repeal and replace Obamacare, President Donald Trump and some Senate Republicans, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), are today calling for a return to the original Republican strategy of passing repeal legislation immediately, and then put together a replacement bill, perhaps in August.
In a statement, Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) resident scholar Dr. Merrill Matthews points out that Sen. Paul was one of the key Republicans demanding that repeal and replace be passed at the same time, boasting in a Jan. 6 tweet that he had talked to President-elect Trump, “and he fully supports my plan to replace Obamacare the same day we repeal it.” As the Washington Examiner pointed out in its story at the time, that position was “a break with congressional Republicans plans to attack both issues separately.”
The House and Senate had already passed repeal legislation under the reconciliation process in 2015, but President Obama vetoed it. Republicans did not have a replacement plan in January, so passing repeal and replace at the same time delayed the process for months as House Republicans crafted their bill.
“The best strategy was to pass the repeal legislation again, just as Republicans did in 2015,” said Matthews. “Had Republicans gone with their original plan, they would have repealed Obamacare when it was at its height of unpopularity. The public would have cheered.”
“The left and the media have spent the past six months concocting false narratives of how millions of people will be hurt and left to die in the streets,” said Matthews. “That effort has made a number of Republicans nervous, and it’s not clear that a stand-alone repeal vote will have enough Republican votes to pass now. It’s great that Sen. Paul is willing to return to the original GOP strategy; it would have been better had he supported that approach in the first place.”