By Robert Romano
In a letter to Senate Republican leaders, Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) asked that H.R. 3762, which President Barack Obama vetoed in 2016, should be the bare minimum of what the Republican majorities of the House and Senate consider in 2017. That’s not asking too much.
H.R. 3762 got rid of Medicaid expansion, premium subsidies, cost-sharing subsidies, the individual and employer mandates, reinsurance, risk corridors and risk-adjustment, and the many taxes and spending from the health care law.
If that is the bill that is put on Trump’s desk, it would be a monumental achievement.
If anybody has credibility on repealing Obamacare, it should be Cruz who filibustered funding for it in 2013, and Rubio and Lee, who joined him on the floor in support.
H.R. 3762 passed the House and Senate in 2015, and was vetoed by President Obama in 2016. Both chambers then failed to override the veto, but now there is a real opportunity to have that very same piece of legislation signed into law by President-elect Donald Trump when he assumes office later this month.
If it was good enough in 2016 for Obama to veto, it should be good enough to put on Trump’s desk to sign. Anything good enough for Lee, Rubio and Cruz is usually going to be good enough for Americans for Limited Government.
Republicans would be foolish not to get everything they could under budget reconciliation, including repealing Medicaid expansion. Lee, Rubio and Cruz are right.
If states want to do Medicaid expansion for those with incomes in the middle of the spectrum, the so-called doughnut hole, that’s their business. Federal taxpayers should not be compelled to subsidize it.
The bottom line is this is an historic chance to keep a six-year-old Republican promise to repeal the guts of Obamacare and Republicans should not blink at this rare opportunity the American people have given to them to limit the size and scope of the government.
They should do no less than what they forced Obama to veto in 2016 and hopefully with the new majorities and the White House, they’ll do even more going forward, including allowing insurance to be sold across state lines.
So far the Senate has voted to proceed to S. Con. Res. 3, but so far, the text of the Obamacare repeal has not been brought forward. Time will tell if Republicans are able to keep their pledge to repeal the health care law, but if the Senate follows Lee, Rubio and Cruz’ principles laid out in their letter, this could end up being something the American people can be very pleased with.
Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.