Why It’s Significant (And Worrisome) Both Crucial Health Care “No’s” Came From Far Right

Mike Lee, from Utah, and Jerry Moran, from Kansas, joined Kentucky’s Rand Paul in some variation of saying the Senate bill doesn’t go far enough.

Senator Lee’s statement focuses on three things: the bill as it stands now doesn’t eliminate all Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t lower premiums, and it still contains too many regulations. Lee offers more extensive reasoning on Erick Erickson’s website.

Senator Moran was more vague about his decision, mentioning several things: including the way the Senate’s bill was written in secret, and the possibility if the federal government continues to have a big role “it is more likely our healthcare system will devolve into a single-payer system.”

Senators Lee and Moran

The only moderate to publicly oppose the Senate bill so far remains Maine’s Susan Collins. Her argument was that it did too much damage to Medicaid, something that predated Obamacare.

Senator Susan Collins

The more radically right Senators actually did 5 other moderate Republicans a favor. They can get “off the fence” now and safely say they were against it if they want, without fear of betraying their party.

But a very good “flash analysis” by Vox points out the lack of resolve — and possibly backbone — by Republican moderates could be a problem going forward. It says a few of those moderates have to forcefully join Collins “in squarely promising to vote against a bill that causes massive coverage losses. Then they could either leave the ACA in place, or else start working with moderate Democrats on bipartisan revisions to the bill that would be aimed at improving American health care rather than rolling back insurance coverage. Until then, the Affordable Care Act is very much under threat.” (Our emphasis.)

(This story originally appeared in The Chaos Report newsletter. https://thechaosreport.com/subscribe/?scr=Medium)