Did Rand Paul Have an Alternative to the Failed AHCA?

By Gabrielle Seunagal
From the birth of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was vehemently against it. In an interview with MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Paul noted the problematic rising premiums that Obamacare engenders in the individual market. He elaborately explained the much needed demand to eradicate Obamacare’s insurance mandates and high prices. The AHCA would have earned popularity among conservatives if Rand Paul was involved with the crafting of the bill. Speaker Ryan remained woefully out of touch with the AHCA’s dismal unfavorability; his determination to persist with the proposal serves as evidence of such.
Senator Paul was one of the central AHCA critics. He, along with many other conservatives, referred to the bill as Obamacare Lite and suggested removing many of Speaker Ryan’s policies, due to the current legislation allowing half of the subsidies that Obamacare did. Paul also suggested terminating all regulations and creating a buying group via budget regulation. This course of action would have drastically decreased the costs associated with the AHCA. Paul’s sensible proposition resonated with a plethora of conservatives across this nation. Why was he not involved in the formation of the American Health Care Act?

Moreover, Senator Paul was one of many Americans who believe the President was deceived (by Speaker Ryan) into the notion that the AHCA was the only alternative to repealing and replacing Obamacare. To quote the Senator: “He has been told this is the only vehicle, and Paul Ryan has been saying it for weeks, it’s a binary choice, you take it and it’s my way or the highway. I think he has been fed a bill of goods on this thing, and there’s a bill we could pass that would bring down costs and this bill doesn’t do it.” Following the AHCA’s failure and the announcement of Obamacare’s continuation, countless Americans expressed their fury, much of it aimed towards Speaker Ryan. Several prominent conservatives are already calling for his resignation.
Obamacare will inevitably continue to fail. Within a few years, it will crash and burn, leaving a plethora of wounded Americans in its wake. The premiums and unaffordability continue to rise. Perhaps the utter collapse of Obamacare will serve as an incentive for Republicans (and Democrats) to join forces and form an affordable health care bill that earns a reasonable degree of popularity. Speaker Ryan announced that Republican leaders are now “moving on” from healthcare reform and focusing their attention on other policies. This unfortunate disposition does not negate the reality that healthcare reform will have to be addressed very soon.

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