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Republicans’ Crazy Health-Care Bill Is Insurance Bailout

July 16, 2017 (EIRNS)—The Republican health-care bill is again on hold, perhaps for good. Sen. Mitch McConnell announced that the vote, planned for this coming week, would be postponed until John McCain recovers from minor surgery—an uncertain number of days. But the bill is already opposed by at least two Republicans —Sens. Susan Collins (R-Me.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and others are wobbling.

Rand Paul placed an op-ed in the Washington Examiner today and went on a number of Sunday talk shows to express his outrage at the bill. His op-ed is titled "Crony Capitalism Isn’t a Right, So Why Does Senate Healthcare Bill Give Insurance Companies the Right to a Bailout?" He writes:

"I remember a lot of outrage about two things when I first ran for office: Obamacare and the bank bailouts. Unfortunately, the Senate healthcare bill combines the worst of those two this time, we’re bailing out the big insurance companies."

He says that

"the Senate Obamacare bill takes us beyond the long-running debate about ‘is healthcare a right’ to a new debate: ‘Is health insurance a right?’ In other words, is there somehow a right to healthcare that includes a taxpayer obligation to maintain insurance industry profits, which hit a record $15 billion last year?"

He says that

"the one certainty of the Senate GOP health plan is that it guarantees a profit for Big Insurance.... Am I the only one in the Senate that finds this brand of crony capitalism unseemly? We aren’t talking about whether or not we take care of the poor or disabled who can’t afford their healthcare."

He says that the GOP bill

"creates a giant insurance bailout superfund of nearly $200 billion. Big Insurance whines that they lose money in the individual market, while carefully leaving out the fact that they make enormous profits in group insurance markets that comprise about 90% of the private insurance marketplace."

Paul is not a single-payer supporter, nor has he expressed support for a return to Hill-Burton. His plan is for many "groups" to be created so everyone is in a group plan—still only an "insurance" plan, rather than a "health delivery" policy like Hill-Burton.