Patterico's Pontifications

3/3/2017

Ted Cruz and Rand Paul Bring Attention to the Need for a Free Market Repeal of ObamaCare

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:00 am

Yesterday Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul each raised awareness of the need for a free market solution to the problem of ObamaCare. Each did so in his own way: Cruz with a serious op-ed, and Paul with some attention-seeking antics. But the ultimate goal of both Senators was the same: making sure that Republicans repeal ObamaCare the right way: with greater freedom of choice for consumers of health care and health insurance.

Cruz’s op-ed begins by insisting that Republicans honor their promise and actually repeal ObamaCare without making it worse.

Cruz outlines six specific proposals: “allow consumers to purchase insurance across state lines…expand health savings accounts…change the tax laws to make health insurance portable…protect continuous coverage…allow small businesses to pool together in association plans to get better rates for their employees… [and] block grant Medicaid to the states.” The general idea behind the proposals is to let the free market do its magic. I hope Republicans who are looking to “replace” ObamaCare decide to “replace” it with the free market.

Rand Paul tried to raise awareness about that same issue with a stunt in which he looked for the secret room where the House version of the ObamaCare repeal bill is being kept:

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul marched to the House side of the Capitol Thursday morning, knocked on a locked door and demanded to see a copy of the House’s bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which he believed was being kept under lock and key.

Aides in the room told the senator — before dozens of reporters in a crowded hallway — that there was no bill to see. In fact, it wasn’t the room where GOP members of the Energy and Commerce Committee were told to meet with staff to review the current draft of their bill at all. But that did little to dissuade Paul, openly critical to the House Republican leadership’s preferred path on the process, from making his underlying point.

I’m less sympathetic to Sen. Paul’s demands for an “open and transparent process” than I am to his ultimate goal of freedom in health care. Sometimes an open process in the debating of a bill leads to grandstanding and less productive discussion. It’s not the secretive nature of the process that disturbs me — and ultimately, I think, Sen. Paul reveals his real concern, with which I agree:

Exactly. Let the market work. New entitlements are unacceptable.

Both Senators are following their own path to making sure Republicans do this the right way. Cruz’s method is sober and thoughtful while Paul’s is theatrical. But both of them have their eye on the ball, and I applaud them both.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

UPDATE:


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