Mitch McConnell gets a much deserved bad reputation, but by all means, he is far from the worst Republican Senator. The worst is John McCain, easily. Number two arguably is split between Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins. Lisa Murkowski sports a 22% Liberty Score. The low rank is partially attributable to her lack of support for repealing Obamacare. Murkowski wasn’t even supportive of “Skinny Repeal.” So when Murkowski announced her opposition to the Obamacare individual mandate, I couldn’t help but read that with a certain sense of disgust. In her article published in a local newspaper, Murkowski begins by saying:
I have always supported the freedom to choose. I believe that the federal government should not force anyone to buy something they do not wish to buy in order to avoid being taxed. That is the fundamental reason why I opposed the Affordable Care Act from its inception and also why I cosponsored a bill to repeal the individual mandate tax penalty starting as early as 2013. And that is why I support the repeal of that tax today.
If this is true where was she when Conservatives were trying to repeal? It is absolutely disgusting when Senators say they oppose something they voted to keep in place. She does address that in the next paragraph.
Over the course of this year, the Senate has considered bills that would have repealed Medicaid expansion, completely transformed the base Medicaid program, converted the individual exchanges into a block grant program, cut Planned Parenthood out of Medicaid reimbursement for a year, and other measures. All of those bills went far beyond the fundamental problems presented by the ACA and would have unnecessarily taken away access to care from those who need it most.
So basically, she opposes conservative healthcare reform. I’m not Trumpcare was a conservative solution, but we can certainly count her out voting yes on the free market solution. But in this paragraph she shows her pro-abortion colors in a support for Planned Parenthood receiving taxpayer dollars to kill babies and fund democrats. Nevermind that Planned Parenthood is an easily replaceable part in actual women’s health. Murkowski then delves into both a defense and critique of Obamacare. She states that the ACA has helped so many Alaskans and Alaskans pay the highest premiums. She tops it off by saying:
Repealing the individual mandate simply restores to people the freedom to choose. Nothing else about the structure of the ACA would be changed. If you currently get tax credits to help pay for your insurance, you could still receive those credits if you choose to buy an exchange plan. If you are enrolled on Medicaid or received coverage under Medicaid expansion, you could still be enrolled if you choose to be. The only difference would be is if you choose to not buy health insurance, the government would not levy a tax on you.
Let’s for a second, recall that it was the Supreme Court that rewrote the ACA to make the individual mandate a tax. It was clearly a fine, even Obama said it wasn’t a tax. The fine was hardly the worst thing about Obamacare. In fact, the fine is the only possible way Obamacare could work, which is why it was written into law in the first place. Obamacare is a halfway step to a government healthcare system. Without the mandate, rising premiums will further incentivizing people to not buy health insurance causing more rising premiums. It’s a spiral.
Murkowski does delve deeper into healthcare reform touting a bipartisan bill supported by fellow RINO Lamar Alexander, Liberty Score 17%.
Protecting the gains we’ve made with provisions of the ACA while providing greater control to states and options for individuals is why I have been working for bipartisan solutions to the health care challenges we face. Instead of taxing people for not being able to afford coverage, we should be working to reduce costs and provide options. That is precisely what the bipartisan legislation introduced by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, which I have cosponsored, achieves.
While I support repealing the individual mandate, I strongly support enacting the bipartisan compromise Alexander/Murray legislation into law as fast as possible to stabilize our markets, provide more control to states and more choices to individuals.
Murkowski goes on full betrayal of her promise to her constituents. Instead of opposing Obamacare, she is actively sponsoring it’s “rescue” sponsoring the Murray/Alexander plan. Sometimes there’s beauty in compromise. This is not one of those times. Murkowski went back on what she promised to do. Even now, she states no opposition to Obamacare, merely it’s core mandate. To hear her oppose the penalty is seething with irony. So while Republicans may have her vote on their latest tax reform bill, any Obamacare repeal efforts will need her replacement in 2022.
In other words, the Alexander-Murray deal is a solution to an overblown problem. The deal is being sold as a short-term fix, appropriating funds through 2019. But in all likelihood it would wind up being permanent, like most government spending, with Congress simply renewing it when its time runs out.
In exchange for appropriating the Obamacare funds, Republicans would get . . . nothing much. No Hyde Amendment–type protections are included on the CSR subsidies, for instance, meaning the funds could go to insurance plans that cover abortions.