When I first read that headline I thought of the usual suspects, Lisa Murkowski, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Susan Collins. But the four this time are Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul and Ron Johnson. The four I had in mind would oppose the bill because they probably think it repeals too much of Obamacare, but the four this time are conservatives who believe it doesn’t repeal enough of Obamacare. I’m with them.
The bill repeals all of the Obamacare taxes and the individual and employer mandates. That’s good but it leaves in the Medicaid expansion, the mandate for insurance coverage of pre-existing conditions and allows states to decide what insurance companies must cover. These are poison pills. Forcing insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions destroys the whole concept of insurance. It means healthy people are forced to pay for other peoples’ extraordinary expensive health care through their insurance premiums. That hits the middle class in the gut and makes it difficult for them to afford insurance. It is the main thing that made Obamacare a nightmare.
The other thing that is poisonous is allowing states to mandate what coverage you can buy and what insurance companies can sell. That is what was destroying the health insurance market before Obamacare. Many people supported Obamacare because they thought it would fix the mess that insurance had become. Of course, now we know that Obamacare fixed nothing and in fact doubled down on the very problems the Obamanistas promised it would fix. If the states are again going to be allowed to destroy insurance markets with coverage mandates it will be bad news for the GOP down the road. They won’t be able to blame it on Democrats then, because the GOP will own it.
The four conservatives offer hope for a more sensible bill that will restore the ability of middle class Americans to find affordable health insurance. We should all have the freedom to choose which plan and what sort of health insurance will best suit our needs. We don’t need nanny state governments looking over our shoulder forcing us to buy something we don’t want and cannot afford. That’s a prescription for continued turmoil in the health insurance market.