With Obamacare perhaps on the ropes again, it’s not a huge surprise that its chief defender, Barack Obama, is back — and once more he’s standing up for his disastrous signature “achievement.”
But it may be a surprise that Rand Paul, the constitutional conservative who has railed against the Affordable Care Act for many years, isn’t buying into the new repeal bill, either.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has made clear that his vote is unattainable on the latest and last-ditch proposal by GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana to roll back key pillars of Obamacare and convert Medicaid to a capped, block grant system.
“The problem I have with this current bill is it basically keeps the Obamacare spending, keeps the Obamacare taxes — most of them — and then actually just redistributes the money from Democrat states to Republican states,” Paul told NPR’s Ari Shapiro on All Things Considered. “So I don’t think this really fixes the problem, nor does it honor our pledge to repeal Obamacare.”
Paul says there is no amount of minor tweaks to Graham-Cassidy that will change his mind, characterizing it plainly as “a really crappy bill.”
While Paul seeks a genuinely better policy, Obama, speaking Wednesday at an event hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in New York, pressed on with his defense of a genuinely indefensible policy. The former president warned Republican-backed efforts to undo the Affordable Care Act would cause “real human suffering,” adding that “people are alive today” because of his signature “achievement.”
Senate Republicans are making another attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s landmark legislation, after narrowly failing to do so in August. And, although there was a brief period there when one could not even use the label “Obamacare” because it said to be the same as using the “n-word,” President Obama now not only embraces the term “Obamacare,” but he continues to defend his healthcare policy as loudly as a goose defends her goslings.
In his remarks Wednesday, the former president acknowledged that all the efforts to do away with his signature achievement were kinda getting on his nerves.
Former President Obama on Wednesday said it is “aggravating” to continually fend off Republican attempts to repeal his signature healthcare law.
“When I see people trying to undo that hard-won progress for the 50th or 60th time … it is aggravating,” he said at an event in New York sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Some of his comments can be heard here:
Presumably less aggravating to Obama is the fact that “a net 9 million people have lost their private health plans, thanks to Obamacare — with a net 5 million people having lost employer-based plans and a net 4 million people having lost individually purchased plans.”
Nor does President Obama seem particularly annoyed that Obamacare has cost the U.S. economy roughly 300,000 jobs, more than 10,000 companies, and $19 billion in wages.
What seems important to the maintenance of Obama’s blood pressure is that the Affordable Care Act continues.
Interestingly, President Obama himself does not seem particularly fond of Obamacare, repeatedly arguing that “while the Affordable Care Act represented a significant step forward for America, it was not perfect, nor could it be the end of our efforts.”
Most Democrats in Congress seem to concur with President Obama’s view here. And many in both parties think Obamacare’s a mess. But the divide is on how to fix it.
While Rand Paul wants a more perfect conservative solution — something that unfortunately may not be forthcoming soon — many Republicans seem to be coalescing around the latest bill, which takes a step in the right direction by returning money and decision-making ability from Washington, D.C., to the states and individuals.
Let’s hope Republicans can agree on a bill that can finally end the disaster of Obamacare. For as long as it exists and continues to be called “Obamacare,” it seems our former president will continue fight for it — no matter how disastrous it is.