Usually, when people can’t win an argument on the merits or ideas, they resort to arguments that only make sense to career politicians, the only question is when do they start making these nonsensical arguments.
Those desperate to SAY they did something about Obamacare rather than actually DOING something about it have reached the point where both arguments are being made against those of us opposed or undecided on a genuinely bad bill. “You have to do this for the team.” “If you don’t accept this, you’ll get nothing.” Both of these are false and I think the public should hear why.
I do belong to a “team” in politics. I ran as a Republican. I caucus as a Republican. I vote for people sometimes because, while I have misgivings, in general, they believe similar things. But I didn’t give that “team” my soul or my ideology. I join with them when I agree or when I don’t have a strong opinion. I go against them plenty of times, such as on privacy and civil liberties, and all too often, unconstitutional war.
Let me be clear – when I took office, I didn’t swear an oath to my “team.” No, that oath was to uphold the Constitution, and I’m pretty positive bailing out insurance companies wasn’t envisioned in that document.
But more importantly, I have to be who I am and who I told the people who supported me I would be. I told them I’d repeal Obamacare. I told them I’d vote for more capitalism and free markets in health care to finally fix a system that has been getting worse my entire adult life.
I told them that if nothing else, they could always count on me to stand up for what I believe, to stand for principle, and to do what I said I would.
My “Team” is asking me to abandon all of those things to pass a deeply flawed bill. It does not repeal Obamacare. Let me repeat that because it’s important:
The Senate Obamacare bill does not repeal Obamacare, it keeps it.
It keeps the majority of the Obamacare taxes. It keeps 10 out of 12 of the major Obamacare regulations. It allows continued, unsustainable expansion of Medicaid beyond the poor and disabled. It continues the idea that insurance should be subsidized by the taxpayers for nearly everyone, and it has a $200 billion dollar bailout for insurance companies.
It’s not what I ran on. It’s not what any of my colleagues ran on.
But they’re lining up and doing what they’re told, because they’ve accepted the premises on which Obamacare was built and because they’re scared to be seen as “doing nothing.”
Well, if this is “something” count me out. I’d rather explain to the voters that we didn’t yet have enough real Republicans in Washington for full repeal, we did what we could and we’ll keep fighting.
This is why I think the only workable solution left to Obamacare right now is to separately repeal and replace. I won’t vote for bailouts or massive subsidies.
I will vote for less than what I want. I will compromise on how much repeal I will accept, as long as it is not coupled with a massive payout to insurance companies and an expansion and continuation of the taxpayer funding of health insurance beyond the poor and disabled.
For those who say join the team, I say I’m right here, holding up each and every one of the promises every member of my caucus made to REPEAL. I’m looking at every one of the dozens of votes my “team” cast when President Obama was in office to REPEAL.
Let’s do what the team promised. There’s still time. We should use the delay this week to take a hard look at what is smart and what is possible here, and scrap the current bill and do what’s right.