Rand Paul

Ron Johnson and Ted Cruz Join the Rand Paul/Mike Lee Opposition to Obamacare Lite

Tea Party senators claim to be "open to negotiation" yet insist on repealing Obamacare, which no version of the AHCA has come close to doing.

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Rand Paul announces opposition to the AHCA. ||| Garrett Haake
Garrett Haake

As widely predicted in this space and elsewhere, Sens. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) have come out in quick opposition to the first draft (as written) of the Senate's version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). But for weeks now, the parlor game in Washington has been: Which Republican would have the courage (or is it opportunism?) to join them, thereby tipping the whip count to 51-49 against, and potentially incurring the same kind of wrath that President Donald Trump deployed so effectively against the House Freedom Caucus?

The answer just came—Paul/Lee's fellow Tea Party senators, Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.). Johnson had been pretty vocal last night about the rushed and secretive drafting process, while Cruz has been oscillating between his personae as Mr. Anti-Obamacare and someone who wants to "get to yes."

The senators' joint statement is being read by many progressives as a negotiating ploy—they do say they're "open to negotiation," after all—but there's a poison pill at the end that may prove too difficult to digest:

Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor. There are provisions in this draft that represent an improvement to our current health care system, but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs.

Italics mine. As Peter Suderman pointed out when the legislation was posted this morning, and as both Suderman and the yes-voting members of the Freedom Caucus (as well as Rand Paul and others) acknowledged when the AHCA passed the House, both versions of the GOP's 2017 health care revamp leave the basic structure of Obamacare in place (albeit with less taxation, fewer mandates, and less coverage). No bill that has come within miles of either the House or Senate floor has fulfilled that "most important promise" to "repeal Obamacare." For the Tea Party Four to change their "no" votes to yes, there would either have to be an astonishingly fast root-and-branch re-write of the bill or a brazen heel-turn on the clear and declarative statement they just made.

Ted Cruz as I type this is saying "We can get this done, we can get to yes," and stressing that the "single biggest" improvement he's looking for is to "lower the cost of premiums." He also wants more state flexibility. And Rand Paul told reporters, "The intention is not to take down the bill," it's "to make the bill better." So we shall see.

NEXT: What You Didn't See in That Shocking Evergreen Segment: Michael Moynihan Dishes in The Fifth Column

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  1. I just stopped by to say,

    “Hmm, I wonder what Ken Shultz thinks about this topic.”

    That is all.

    1. “There are three things every libertarian should love about the AHCA”

      1. Number 6 will shock you!

      2. “We remember what the ACA looked like back in 2010. What it looks like now will shock you.”

    2. Sup, Gojira. Nice to hear from you. Hope you are well.

    3. It’s “amazingly excellent,” and the trouble the GOP is having in getting it passed is evidence that Trump is a “smart man.”

      And since you’re here, why not stay a while.

    4. Glibs has been blocked for me at work : (

      But I always kept up reading the stories & comment threads that I thought would be interesting over here, so, cheers fellas.

      1. I went there once, concluded that it was a bizarre echo chamber, and left immediately. If I wanted a bunch of wacknut opinion pieces I would just read Being Libertarian on Facebook.

        1. I spend the vast majority of my time there (not necessarily commenting), and I did a weekly movie review for 3 1/2 months. More of my friends* went there, so I did, too, and I stand by them. I didn’t and don’t, however, have any personal animosity towards this site, or the Remnant or the Elendili or whatever you people call yourselves after we sailed west to challenge the Valar.

          *friends being used in the sense of, people I hang out with online outside of the Reason comments section.

        2. Same here. It wasn’t terrible, but just kind of blah. Seemed like kind of an echo chamber/ circle jerk (although I suppose you could say the same about H&R). Some of the people over there were fun to interact with and I sometime miss some of those guys, but others… not so much.

          I never bothered trying to comment there because I figured since I wasn’t invited to join their self-styled “cool kid’s club” I wouldn’t be welcome. And besides, I’d never want to join any club that wanted me as a member anyway.

          1. Most of the people there weren’t specifically invited. Just show up, take a giant shit in the guest toilet, don’t bother to flush, and drink all our beer. We’re very low-class like that.

            1. take a giant shit in the guest toilet

              Can I leave an upper decker?

            2. Also, obviously I was under the impression that you had to be invited to post or comment there and that it wasn’t an open “just show up and comment” type of thing. I guess I was mistaken.

              1. There’s a registration, but that’s it.

          2. Here the circle jerk is just subtext. There, it’s the text.

            1. Especially with SugarFree being over there…

          3. I checked it out when they started but was turned off by the heavy banhammer. As many assinine jokes as I make, I was sure I would not last long.

            1. Really? I think we’ve only banned a few people. And everyone gets warnings first, in the form of an image of a cat butt over the offending post. Yes, we moderate more than they do here, but only slightly, and is intended to keep a few well-known Tulpas off our lawn.

              1. Also, Mikey’s constant promotion of the glib site did not help your cause.

                1. Maybe that’s why it got the label of being yokels who came over with us.

                  Because if you run down the list of the original sinners – Sloppy, Playa, Riven, Warty, SF, HM, JW, Doyers, OMWC, myself – none of us were accounted yokels when we were here. In fact, we frequently clashed with them. I never heard myself referred to as a yokel until after the split, which was funny as hell to me.

                  1. if you run down the list of the original sinners – Sloppy, Playa, Riven, Warty, SF, HM, JW, Doyers, OMWC, myself – none of us were accounted yokels when we were here

                    I noticed that too when I lurked over there: that several of the names I recognized weren’t really what I’d call “yokels” either, just people who weren’t happy with some of Reason’s early Trump coverage (which does seem to have improved – not sure if it’s the lost clicks from the defection that caused them to re-think their editorial stance or just the natural course of seeing that the sky wasn’t actually falling).

                    I don’t know if it’s Mikey’s fault or the fact that there’s no room for nuance in the comments of a libertarian site that caused some people to just assume that glibs is all just pissed off yokels. Probably both.

                    Oops there I go trying to be all nuanced again. Stop it! There’s no room for that here!

                    1. I coined the term “Secession of the Yokels” because it sounded like the ancient Roman Secession of the Plebes. I didn’t actually do an ideological analysis of the people who left. “Secession of Some-People-Who-May-Be-Termed- Yokels-And-Some-To-Whom-The-Term- Does-Not-Apply” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

                  2. Well, that’s not the entire list. Wasn’t the first loud defector RC Dean? He’s a smart guy and may be undeserving of the yokel epithet, but I have enjoyed not seeing blame attributed to “the DemOp media” every day.

                    Which in a nutshell is why I didn’t bother registering over there: I have no interest in reminding each other how stupid and evil and gross and untrustable leftists are. That seems to be the main point of the comments section, which is the main point of the site.

          4. CA, I think that sums up my sentiments regarding glibrtarians also. Well said.

        3. Yeah, I took a look at the articles for a couple of weeks and they were rather sparse and of low quality. If the Secession of the Yokels happened because of the supposed poor quality articles here, I don’t see how the glibertarians is any improvement.

          But they don’t seem to criticize Trump much, so if you’re the kind of libertarian that doesn’t like to bitch about the president it has that going for it.

          1. Well, considering we come up with articles in our spare time while having regular lives, and none of us has a journalism degree from Columbia (or anywhere else, for that matter), no, it isn’t going to be top-notch hard-hitting news every hour on the hour. You also clearly never read my regular Thurs. night movie reviews, which were TOP. FLIGHT. LITERATURE. Though sadly I ended them as a weekly last week and will probably only do one monthly going forward.

            The reason for the split had a lot of underlying factors, and was not solely (or even at all, for some of us) an issue of perceived article quality here.

            1. If you covered the entire Porky’s series, then I’ll go back and read them.

          2. If the Secession of the Yokels happened because of the supposed poor quality articles here, I don’t see how the glibertarians is any improvement.

            I don’t know that it was the quality of the articles per se so much as the editorial slant Reason chose wrt to Trump, and especially the so-called “Muslim Ban.”

            Which was quite over the top and lacking nuance, to be honest. I too was disappointed to see Reason repeat a lot of the hysteria that you can get on CNN and would have liked more thoughtful analysis as opposed to the pearl clutching that some of the contributors here engaged in (looking at you, Dalmia), but what are you gonna do? It’s their website, and they’re free to publish what they wish on it.

            Likewise the folks who “seceded” are also free to go start their own blog. Freedom of association and all that. No one’s rights were trampled on, and I don’t hold any ill will towards the people who left. It’s a (still relatively) free country.

            1. ^^excellent, nuanced response.

              So you don’t belong on any libertarian site.

              1. I guess I don’t fit in anywhere.

                *hangs head in shame*

            2. Oh, I don’t deny they could do what they want. I’m just saying that with all its faults I’d rather read Reason and find the articles here are of a higher quality (even when I disagree with them) than at the Glibs. But it’s a matter of taste, sure. If I had more time I’d probably lurk more there. But I only have room for one time-sink, and I choose Reason.

              1. It also seems like they’re their own fan club.

            3. Fisher’s post was embarrassing (regardless of the story being hoax), and Dalmia is Dalmia, but the rest of the staff provided good analysis and commentary, and at a measured pace. I contend that the cocktails narrative was so overheated by the time of the EO, many people’s interpretation of the posts here were way out of line.

            4. I don’t know that it was the quality of the articles per se so much as the editorial slant Reason chose wrt to Trump, and especially the so-called “Muslim Ban.” Which was quite over the top and lacking nuance, to be honest

              Individual liberty is an absolute. Never nuanced
              And the odds seem strong that you’ve been manipulated by all the bullshit about Islam and the Quran

        4. I spent a lot of time at glibs at first, but now it’s more “I mean” to hop over there and never get around to it.

          I genuinely like a lot of the people who hopped over, but now that it’s a semi-restricted group of old friends, it’s become a bit of an echo chamber, retreading memes and trading the same basic comments back and forth. I’ve had some interesting discussions over there, but mostly it’s scanning past amusing and familiar-sounding banter.

          If I’m being honest, I wind up missing the vitriol this place can provide.

        5. It was so bizarre, I got kicked out before I could figure out what was happening. It seems my kind of political incorrectness was not their kind, or something like that.

          1. I just spent my first five minutes there. Struck me as trying SO hard to be light-hearted that there is no content. Even a VERY outreach type like me saw nothing to persuade and convert with, which would have won the day (for me) even if I never returned.

      2. Glibs is blocked at your work? It’s SugarFree, isn’t it.

        1. The weird thing is, it wasn’t until like two weeks ago. Go figure.

      3. Glibs has been blocked for me at work : (

        Whoever you’re working for is obviously smart enough to be able to tell the real libertarian sites apart from the fake ones!

  2. And this will be the state of the healthcare battle. There are sufficiently many Senators that are conservative enough fiscally that the current bill is considered too moderate for them. If concessions were made such that at least one of the mentioned Senators decides to vote yes, it could very well cause less moderate Senators to become “no” votes.

    Healthcare reform under this administration is dead and a near impossibility unless something drastic changes.

    1. “There are sufficiently many Senators that are conservative enough fiscally that the current bill is considered too moderate for them. If concessions were made such that at least one of the mentioned Senators decides to vote yes, it could very well cause less moderate Senators to become “no” votes.”

      Which is about the best than can be said of the Rs now. By comparison, that lying piece of shit Obama (aided by the equally LPoS Pelosi) simply claimed you have it all for free and no one will have to pay for it! (looking for the donkey eating corn through the fence image of Obama).
      And all the Ds lined up and said ‘Well, of course!’

      1. The Democrats had simply used Republican tactics.

  3. repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs.

    But all I’ve been hearing is that these teathuglicans want people dying in the streets. Lower costs? The Enlightened know that the only way to achieve this is by putting “Affordable” in the name and redistributing wealth from the rich bloodsuckers. It couldn’t possibly have the opposite effect.

    Apparently, dirt cheap health care in an unfettered industry is so far in the past that nobody knows it existed. Understanding of economic policy consequences is in dire need by the government-educated public.

    1. Apparently, dirt cheap health care in an unfettered industry is so far in the past that nobody knows it existed.

      Yeah, pretty much.


  4. …while Cruz has been oscillating between his personae as Mr. Anti-Obamacare and someone who wants to “get to yes.”

    Yeah, Cruz talks a good conservative game but his actions tell a completely different story. I would say ‘bullet dodged’ on him becoming President, but then again Trump. That being said, I’ll take a Trump over a man who knows what’s right but chooses to do the opposite any day of the week.

    1. And, as much as I like Rand, it seems he’s doing the same semantics game as Cruz which does bother me a bit. I’m not sure what they have to gain by saying things like this, other than look like they’re pretending to play ball while intentionally torpedoing the bill. I’m guessing they’re trying to have ground to stand on when they inevitably go head-to-head with Trump. Guess #2 is build good will with dissatisfied Democrats for the next Presidential election.


      And Rand Paul told reporters, “The intention is not to take down the bill,” it’s “to make the bill better.” So we shall see.

      1. I’m not sure what they have to gain by saying things like this, other than look like they’re pretending to play ball while intentionally torpedoing the bill. I’m guessing they’re trying to have ground to stand on when they inevitably go head-to-head with Trump.

        Probably a little from column A, a little column B. They gain even less if they say “No, and there’s nothing you can do to change that.” This way they get to come off as “reasonable and willing to compromise” while probably knowing full well there’s no way the bill can be modified enough to get them to vote for it. It also, again, makes them looks sane and dignified when Trump goes off on them in an inevitable twitter fit.

        1. C. Actually repealing Obamacare would be electoral suicide, so they’re playing chicken. By refusing to support anything but a full repeal they know is never going to pass, they can campaign as the only true believers left in the party.

          1. Actually repealing Obamacare would be electoral suicide

            I’m not sure it would be for them. Their electorate elected them, in part, because of their promise to vote to repeal Obamacare. They didn’t campaign promising to just tweak it a little. So for Paul, Lee, Cruz, and Johnson I don’t think it would be electoral suicide unless the electorate in their home states has changed their minds about repealing O-care.

            1. If you pass a law taking $10,000 from everyone in the top quintile and use it to give everyone a $1,000 healthcare subsidy (the other $5,000 getting wasted), you can cut total healthcare spending by repealing the law, but most of the voters are not going to be happy with the results.

              The Republicans have basically run on the proposition they can repeal the above law and not only will no ones health care go up, but most people’s healthcare will go down even further.

              So yes, it would be electoral suicide, because they’re promising something that’s impossible to deliver.

              1. So yes, it would be electoral suicide, because they’re promising something that’s impossible to deliver.

                ^ This.

                The turd floating in the pool is that there’s all kinds of government meddling in healthcare that was driving up healthcare costs before anyone even started talking about something like the ACA. CONs, the FDA, the AMA monopoly being primary among them.

                It was politically expedient to pretend that solving the problem is as simple as “repeal Obamacare,” but it isn’t.

                So they could repeal Obamacare today, and the healthcare system would be very far from “fixed,” and costs would continue to rise. The only result would be the Republicans looking like utter morons.

              2. The assholes were dead before they began. Repealing the mandate but keeping Guaranteed Issue is GUARANTEED to create HUGE increases in premiums. The GOP would LITERALLY guarantee you could buy health insurance after being diagnosed with cancer.

              3. A lot of the people who voted them in didn’t get shit from the government. I sure didn’t. All I get is an option to buy a massively overpriced policy that is inferior to what I used to have. So fuck the ACA. Anyone who voted for full repeal will sure as fuck have my vote. And the votes of an awful lot of people I know.

                1. sure as fuck have my vote. And the votes of an awful lot of people I know.

                  Difficult to govern with less than 40% support … especially when repeal shits all over the outcome of a free market, universal treatment, when we had a free market.

          2. “Actually repealing Obamacare would be electoral suicide”

            I hear this a lot, but see no evidence to back it up.

            As others have noted, for the vast majority of (R) congresscritters the promise of repealing Obamacare is what got them elected. And, when you look at Trump’s voters I simply do not see him losing many of those people.

            Most people who would ‘suffer’ under an Obamacare repeal either didn’t vote, or voted for Hillary.

            1. The degree of cold feet on their part is very vexing because of the facts you brought out. And of course Square Circle, Mike Hihn, & many others are right that there’s a heck of a lot that could be done to reduce medical costs for real, insurance details just being a relatively small bump on that rock, & Obamacare a bump on that bump. But Obamacare was at least an easy target that they’re now afraid to shoot. If anything ever showed the climate in the polls to be favorable for suspending legislative rules & getting this thru by a simple majority, this was it.

              But before momentum is lost entirely, pass what you’ve got via reconciliation. It won’t hurt!! Does it encourage the death spiral? Sure, but who thought that was a stable situation anyway? It gives them more of an excuse to go further next session, or even next week.

              1. Unfortunately the greater part of cost-cutting potential is at the state level, and hence must be undertaken piecemeal. Instead of trying to cover the uninsured, make it so deductibles are more attractive, by lowering routine medical costs, which have been pushed up by restrictions on supply & insistence on Cadillac care.

              2. Thank you. I saw that when I was responding and added just a few examples.
                https://reason.com/blog/2017/06…..nt_6882814

                We pay a HEAVY price for the anti-government libs, who have outshouted the pro-liberty faction.
                The movement is totally dead, thanks to them, but libertarianism still represents over 60% of voters,

            2. “Actually repealing Obamacare would be electoral suicide”

              I hear this a lot, but see no evidence to back it up.

              No offense but expand your reading. Americans STRONGLY support universal treatment — which we paid for, until LBJ, and guaranteed issue (because our side fucked up)

              It’s even worse now, because the GOP clearly has no viable alternative. And Republicans REJECTED the bipartisan proposal for Obamacare, which would have killed single-payer forever, thus FORCING Obama to seek the votes of his own far left. Because hate Obama.

              And stupid Cato.

              Our biggest debacle is Medicare — both parties kiss ass of seniors because we vote so heavily. But we also love our kids and grandkids. MANY options to severely cut costs there.
              1) Medicare Savings Accounts would allow seniors to connect with the growing number of providers who give cash discounts as high as 50%.
              2) FUCK Cato’s vouchers, which increase competition in the wrong market. There are MANY ways to give seniors skin in the game for the PROVIDER market,
              3) We’re the world’s most costly as the ONLY place that can spend $500,000 for another 5 months of life. Offer seniors an OPTIONAL $25,000 or more for their estate, if they sign a Living Will.

              See?

    2. “I’ll take a Trump over a man who knows what’s right but chooses to do the opposite…”

      So you prefer a man who doesn’t have any idea what’s right, and merely stumbles into doing it (poorly) part of the time?

      1. Well, I would say ‘but look what Hillary would have done’, but that doesn’t apply to the question. As slimical psychopaths have no sense of right or wrong.

    3. They should just pass straight up repeal first. No reason to keep any version of the ACA around. Then start completely fresh with a free market approach.

      Not this this dogshit socialist bill.

      1. Obviously, you have no clue what a “free market approach” is.
        Hating gubmint is NOT the same as loving liberty. And ONLY the latter can possibly achieve it.

        When we had a free market in health care, we had universal treatment. So your repeal loses immediately.
        And …, since Americans willingly paid for universal coverage when they could .. you also reject the will of the people and consent of the governed … which we still call authoritarianism.

        1. This is the trouble. The medical cartel was easily affordable early on, when there wasn’t much of a practical alternative. But once they got themselves ensconced, keeping that model in place got farther & farther behind the times, & hence more expensive relative to what capabilities were out there. It’s as if the development of automobiles had been suppressed, because rails were a better way to travel & move goods, so everybody has to wait until they build tracks & install engines?maybe a fixed cable car system, or gravity-&-winch?rather than developing engines small enough to power vehicles light enough to use regular streets & highways.

          1. Soon they’ll develop robots to do what physicians & surgeons can, but you’ll still have to go to a doctor to operate them, because it’ll be like the firemen who had to be kept on diesel & then electric locomotives. So the doctor’s job will get easier, but the patient won’t be able to benefit cost-wise.

            1. Soon they’ll develop robots to do what physicians & surgeons can

              More likely the growing use of computer data and apps, where physicians can use even a smart phone to add sophisticated analysis of an individual’s test data. Or the patient has personal access to direct monitoring.

              I recently began cancer treatment, and I’ve been a computer geek since the late 70s, so I ask for details, Cancer is BIG on testing, and what my Docs and PAs have onscreen when I’m there is mind boggling. The savings are huge, from nurses and PAs doing most of the treatment, based on the physician’s analysis of my data and “global” data. So doctors won’t be replaced by robots until they can do sophisticated analysis. Fewer hours of costly DOCTOR time will be needed, as. the labor hours shift to less costly medical personnel — with better outcomes.

              My cancer is rare and has fewer direct tools. I do have access to my almost daily blood tests, on a website that helps me monitor and change certain behaviors, How are my platelets!! Some with suggested diet changes. And it’s nice to even feel some control over it all!

          2. There was no “medical cartel” until LBJ forced the insurance industry to add health insurance, which began with a “monopoly” ( the industry), since the original “insurers” were all nonprofits, mostly fraternal lodges who began health coverage in the 1500s, and fraternal lodges who were VERY common in the late-19th and early 20th century. NONE of them were employer based. so the original glimmer of an employer-based loophole had literally nobody to provide employer-based health care?

            My dad described standing on line every Friday, at his German-Saxon lodge, to pay his “premiums” to a volunteer.

            Until LBJ, we still had universal TREATMENT for all uninsured, provided by charity hospitals financed by the collection plate and a wide variety of charities … including the same fraternals who had been doing it for over 400 years. Today, health care is a RIGHT, for low-incomes, but their uninsured rate is HIGHER than the private market. Too few providers can treat people from as little as $17 per visit.

        2. How is pay up or die “universal coverage” ? What the eff are you talking about?

          1. What the eff are you talking about?

            Wipe away the egg you splattered all over your face … while I point out your MASSIVE fuckup, while laughing hysterically

            When we had a free market in health care, we had universal treatment.

            How is pay up or die “universal coverage”

            You even put it in quotes! (OMG) Pay attention. Private charities are not “pay up or die.”

            Before LBJ’s fuckup with Medicare/Medicaid, charity hospitals provided care to any who sought it.
            I’m an atheist, but I KNOW that religious hospitals would NEVER turn away anybody, IT WOULD BE A SIN, which totally demolishes your progressive brainwashing.

            “Healthcare should be a RIGHT,” they screeched. So now it is. And …. wait for it ….
            Before Obamacare, 12 million people, 1/4 our uninsured, were eligible for Medicaid and CHIP (children) but never enrolled. There are no doctors who can affod to treat them, since Medicaid pays an average of 30% less than even Medicare. So ….. wait for it …
            MORE MEDICAID ELIGIBLES DIE UNINSURED THAN IN THE PRIVATE MARKET!!

            ow is pay up or die “universal coverage”

            (lol)

            Medicare has $80 trillion of unfunded promises. Medicaid is shamefully underfunded. Political healthcare. Seniors vote. Those pore folk do not. Do you REALLY care about people dying needlessly? Or for sucking Bernie’s teat?

  5. Hoping for the best, expecting less.

    We’ll see.

  6. but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs.

    Because there is no way both of those objectives simultaneously. They’re basically asking for a law to create four-sided triangles.

  7. The GOP leadership is going to have to twist a lot of arms to get a bill passed. In addition to these 4, they have to keep the potential “no” moderates on board (Collins, Murkowski, etc.) and they have to get a bill through the House again, which passed with a very narrow margin last time.

    1. In the House, many Republicans voted for it to serve their President .. but the dumbfuck stabbed THEM in the back too, for passing a “mean” bill … that he endorsed.

  8. Good news today it was confirmed that a Canadian Spec Forces member made a 3540 metre kill shot in Iraq last month… that’s more that 11000 ft…

    1. Must have one hell of a windless day. 2.2 miles, ten seconds flight time.
      Just a bunch of peace loving followers of Islam, preparing for a quiet night of murder and mayhem, and then all of a sudden the leader drops dead with a bullet in his head.
      I would agree that qualifies a ‘disrupted’ !!

      1. Sounds pretty awesome to me. The gloves really need to come off. Trump isn’t very PC, or likely to maintain the currently asisnine rules of engagement in place. So hopefully, we will get more done over there soon.

    2. That’s not a kill shot, that’s sorcery… how anyone can make a shot that long is amazing to me.

  9. The best option for the GOP is for this thing to die and for them to get away with not living up to their promise to kill President McBlackerson’s favorite law. How does McConnell accomplish this? With scapegoats of course. Libertarians, finally useful for something.

    Or they’ll just get a token amendment and cave. They are still Republicans.

    1. First, the general public is not nearly cognizant enough of libertarianism, or libertarians to a degree where they make useful scapegoats. Second, you better pray to your Satanic master that the GOP never grows a pair, or it will be the end of you and your buddies.

      Third, fuck off Tony.

      1. Third, fuck off Tony

        Libertarians are tolerant of opposing views. So we know you are authoritarian, by definition.

        First, the general public is not nearly cognizant enough of libertarianism

        Why would they have to be? We’re not a cult. Well, most of us aren’t. And over 60% of Americans would self-identify as libertarian — fiscally conservative and socially liberal — but 91% of THEM reject the libertarian label. (Per Cato and a TOP pollster)

        Somewhat obviously, for anyone who cares, there is a SEVERE disconnect between libertarian values and the current libertarian ideology. In marketing terms the libertarian brand is “toxic” — which means deadly to the “product or service” (individual liberty) The MOVEMENT is dead as a doornail … but not libertarianism. We lack both a voice and a leader. And the libertarian establishment is totally useless (Cato/Mercatus/Reason.com)

        Second, you better pray to your Satanic master that the GOP never grows a pair,

        You’re also on the wrong side of history,

  10. Here’s a novel idea. Leave it to the FREE MARKET, or, it they feel they must intrude, the states.

    Article 10 of the Constitution says: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” I don’t see anywhere where “regulate healthcare” is one of “the powers delegated to the United States.”

    1. Promote the general welfare.
      Don’t you know that means that welfare must be the answer to every problem, real or perceived? And only at the federal level.

    2. If the only problem is that it might not be constitutionally permissible in theory, there’s always the interstate commerce clause.

      It’d be a shame to eliminate the efficiency of a universal risk pool on that basis alone.

      1. Interesting…so you derive your morality from the state’s law, but you also are open about being in favor of ignoring the state’s law whenever you think it’s convenient.

        What’s it like not having any actual beliefs or courage?

        1. Also, I need an edit button. I’m not going to proofread my shit every time I hit submit, so y’all might as well get over that shit, Reason.

          1. Also, I need an edit button

            For your mind.

        2. What’s it like not having any actual beliefs or courage?

          What’s it like to be an authoritarian cyber-bully?

    3. Article 10 of the Constitution says: ?.

      So what? Let’s test your Liberty IQ,

      Hypothetically, assume an entire Congress is elected on the same platform — single-payer healthcare. Would it then be proper for Congress to do so? Why not? (I assume you answered wrong.)

      Do governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed? Is that principle superior to the Constitution? Because if it’s not, then the Constitution is NOT a just power, correct?

      Jefferson also believed that each generation had to wage its own Revolution and derive its own Constitution. Why?
      Because without that, future generations would have no commitment to a constitution! So solemn pronouncements of “what the Founders intended” are totally useless, kinda dumb and actually authoritarian.

      NO free people will EVER commit to diktats from on high — that they had NO say in. Just as YOU, on the job, would feel NO commitment to diktats handed down from on high. In well-managed organizations, goals are NEGOTIATED with employees. Guess why. So they fully commit to achieving — and defending — those goals.
      It’s called “skin in the game.”

      This is AMERICA. We don’t NEED a revolution. The Rights of Man are superior to government.
      You, Ron Paul and his ilk are authoritarians. You have NO power to shit on Will of the People and Consent of the Governed.

      Any questions?

  11. Thank you Mr. Paul & Company for standing up for the America that elected you.

    1. And pissing all over the other 98% of Americans.

  12. The early line on tonite’s MSM newscasts is that this bill will ” gut medicaid” and “slash taxes for the wealthy.” That’s the breathless, and un-challenged, coverage of the folks demonstrating outside Toomey’s office in Allentown, PA.

    1. Which happens to be true, Sluggo.

      1. Great. As one of the wealthy, how much are my taxes going to be slashed?

        1. So, you attacked people and now admit you had no clue what you were talking about?

          One such tax is a 0.9 percent payroll tax on individuals earning more than $200,000 a year, often referred to as the Medicare surcharge. The other is a 3.8 percent tax on net investment income, also for people who earn more than $200,000.1 These taxes largely affect the top 5 percent of earners, with the majority of the money collected coming from the top 1 percent of earners.

          Your words again.

          The early line on tonite’s MSM newscasts is that this bill will ” gut medicaid” and “slash taxes for the wealthy.” That’s the breathless, and un-challenged, coverage of the folks demonstrating outside Toomey’s office in Allentown, PA.

          I just challenged your breathless admission that the MSM are smarter than you.

          You did include one buzzword for tribal goobers, MSM. You could have added others, like proggies (or progtards), also favored by tribal goobers.

          It’s still true, what libertarians have said for nearly 50 years: Left – Right = Zero.

          1. Mr. Hihn, I didn’t challenge the news casters; I reported what they said – it was breathless and unchallenged because it was right, as you point out. Why are you so quick to disparage people on this site? I still don’t see the “gutting of medicaid” but you are right, it looks like about a 10% cut on investment income that was put on when Obamacare passed that affects the top 5%. I hope you aren’t arguing, as a libertarian, that these taxes are morally justified?

            1. I didn’t challenge the news casters;

              (lol) Then why did you challenge me for saying they were true … and reverse yourself here!

              Why are you so quick to disparage people on this site?

              I corrected your errors, snowflake. Now your lies.

              I still don’t see the “gutting of medicaid”

              Repeat: You AGAIN admit knowing NOTHING about the issue!! Allow Reason to educate you, From this morning

              Suderman/Reason.com
              ” In the long term, then, the Senate bill’s Medicaid cuts would be much deeper.”
              (than the House cuts!)

              You challenged me on the MSM’s tax cuts for the rich.
              You challenged me that the MSM was true,
              Now you challenge the MSM’s Medicaid cuts.
              BUT YOU ALSO AGREED WITH BOTH ME AND THE MSM!!!

              I hope you aren’t arguing, as a libertarian, that these taxes are morally justified?

              Wouldn’t matter if I did. I’m not a fucking emperor. Movement libertarians are a tiny minority, with no just power..

              Do you NOW challenge the morality that “governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed?”

              REPEAT: You attacked the MSM … on an issue you know absolutely nothing about. STILL try to deny it. And STILL fail.

              (My tone and attitude in defense of yet another dishonest aggression)

              1. You heard it here folks, from the real libertarian himself, Michael Hihn. Minorities have no just power. Majority agreement = consent of the governed. And therefore, of course, majorities are entitled to forcibly enact whatever measures they like on the whole population of whatever geographical region they claim sovereignty over. If you disagree, then how could you call yourself a libertarian?! If I hear any of you malcontents suggest that individuals have rights that are never subject to government power or majority approval, then so help me…

                1. Behold the raging psycho.

                  You heard it here folks, from the real libertarian himself, Michael Hihn.

                  Opens with personal aggression … versus documented facts.

                  Minorities have no just power.

                  (smirk) NOT TO GOVERN

                  Majority agreement = consent of the governed. And therefore, of course, majorities are entitled to forcibly enact whatever measures they like on the whole population of whatever geographical region they claim sovereignty over.

                  FUCKING WACKO LIAR.

                  TYPICA

                  If you disagree, then how could you call yourself a libertarian?! If I hear any of you malcontents suggest that individuals have rights that are never subject to government power or majority approval, then so help me…

                  1. Correction. Must have submitted accidentally

                    Behold the raging psycho.

                    You heard it here folks, from the real libertarian himself, Michael Hihn.

                    Opens with personal aggression … versus documented facts.

                    Minorities have no just power.

                    (smirk) NOT TO GOVERN
                    Now watch the psycho prove me correct .. on how fucking authoritarian he is.
                    TRY NOT TO PISS YOUR PANTS LAUGHING

                    Majority agreement = consent of the governed. And therefore, of course, majorities are entitled to forcibly enact whatever measures they like on the whole population of whatever geographical region they claim sovereignty over.FUCKING WACKO LIAR. I NEVER SAID ENTITLED.

                    TYICAWHAT DOES THE PSYCHO PROMOTE?


                    TYPICA

                    If you disagree, then how could you call yourself a libertarian?! If I hear any of you malcontents suggest that individuals have rights that are never subject to government power or majority approval, then so help me…

                    1. DAMN. Correction. Must have submitted accidentally

                      I baited one!

                      Minorities have no just power.

                      (smirk) No power to govern.

                      Majority agreement = consent of the governed. And therefore, of course, majorities are entitled to forcibly enact whatever measures they like on the whole population of whatever geographical region they claim sovereignty over.

                      FUCKING LIAR I never said entitled.

                      If you disagree, then how could you call yourself a libertarian?!

                      THINK! WHAT’S THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE?
                      THAT A MINORITY (as small as 10%) CAN IMPOSE ITS VALUES ON THE MAJORITY … BY FORCE OF LAW.

                      If I hear any of you malcontents suggest that individuals have rights that are never subject to government power or majority approval, then so help me…

                      MASSIVE FUCKUP! (LOL)
                      If laws are unjust then you elect a majority and change them. THAT is what anti-gubmint libertarians oppose and attack. …. demanding minority rule .,.. which is authoritarian. DUH.
                      PROVING ME RIGHT — that you shit on the Constitution, Will of the People and Consent of the Governed.

                      JUST powers are derived by the consent of the governed. You defend, intentionally …UNJUST powers.

                      If you CANNOT abide just powers, then your individual liberty has one solution ? get the fuck out.

                      STOP BULLYING ME.

                    2. Oh my goodness, I got him to blow up so hard he triple posted. Am I in the cool kids’ club now? Let me just point out before I forget, his very first sentence reads, “Behold the raging psycho.” and then he criticizes me for opening with personal aggression.

                      Moving on to matters of substance, you misinterpret me so badly I can only assume it’s willful. I’m saying that individuals have rights over which the majority can never have just authority. And your addled mind seems to believe that if I don’t think the majority can impose its will on the minority, I must think the opposite!

                      The fact is, no one has the right to impose their values on others. This is why the U.S. Constitution is important. Because it recognizes that those areas where the government cannot have legitimate authority exist, and (in theory if not practice) prevents majority rule in those areas. It doesn’t say “If Congress passes a bad law, replace them through elections,” it says “Congress shall make no law…”

                      You’re right though. I do shit on the very concept of Consent of the Governed, because it’s a fantasy. There’s no such thing. If 51% of the people consent to a measure, enacting it is still oppression to the 49% who did not consent. Throw in all the various flaws of a representative republic in actually reflecting the will of eligible voters, and it becomes even more unjust. I support voluntaryism, and you are just a run-of-the-mill statist.

  13. They’re like 14-year-old boys comparing their dicks. They admitted it was better than the current Obamacare … so they’d be total assholes to defeat … better, but not good enough. Rightwing extremists are just as useless as leftwing ones. The dipshits are ACCOMPLICES to Obamacare!

    “What’s the most we can advance liberty today.”
    Who gives a fuck. I always prefer to lose … on principle.”
    “What about the victims you create?”
    “YOU HAVE NO PRINCIPLES!”

    And that’s why the libertarian brand is rejected by 91% of libertarians. (per Cato and a top pollster)
    And why we fucked up the 2016 Presidential race … with voters EAGER for change, but offered only empty slogans and no solutions. (But losing on principle!)

  14. Apparently the Republicans are saying “if you like your Obamacare, you can keep it”. In fact they are going to offer no other choice. What a disappointing Congress.

    1. Do you understand how our government works?
      Do you understand they don’t have the votes?
      Can you grasp that GOP fuckups have made Obamacare more popular than ever?

      1. Michael, I understand that some of the responses here are irksome, it it doesn’t help when you go from zero to enraged in one or two relatively civil exchanges. I’m actually interested in what you have to say, but you’re immediately antagonistic to even the slightest disagreement. That makes it really hard to interact with you and discuss your points.

        Please note I’m addressing you in a polite and civil manner.

        1. Please note I’m addressing you in a polite and civil manner.

          (lol) Actually, you’e full of shit. As shown here

          it it doesn’t help when you go from zero to enraged in one or two relatively civil exchanges.

          I asked three questions. I am NEVER enraged. But I do enjoy ridiculing aggressors.
          And the self-righteous.

          1. Part two of the bulshitting aggressor

            it it doesn’t help when you go from zero to enraged in one or two relatively civil exchanges.

            From your FIRST exchange with Tony

            https://reason.com/blog/2017/06…..nt_6882435

            fuck off Tony.

            You had not been in the thread, entered it solely to launch aggression over …. disagreement (gasp)

            Repeating from part one …. “I am NEVER enraged. But I do enjoy ridiculing aggressors.
            And the self-righteous.”

          2. Mike’s the same as he always was: usually right, but with a stridency that turns many off.

            1. It’s called self-defense,Robert. The victim decides what’s appropriate. Because NAP

  15. This is not Obamacare lite.

    This is Drumpfcare heavy. Will lower the number of insured, cost the poor more, have less coverage and provide a huge tax cut for the rich.

    Reason.com libertarians should celebrate.

  16. The bill will be signed into law with at least 51 Republicans voting YES.

    Rand Paul will be the only holdout, so that he can maintain his libertarian credentials while voting with Drumpf 88% of the time

    1. I’m skeptical that they get to ‘yes’ at all. They need to keep their damn campaign promise. This bill is not it.

  17. Good point on Rand, but at least two others have equally batty reason to defeat. Plus the moderates who are LOCKED in to a No.

  18. The way you make progress on something like this is pass what you can, as soon as you can, because you can always enact more stuff later?even starting on the next bill 10 secs. later. It’s moving in the right direction, so take advantage of the momentum.

    1. It sounds better, I suggest, to advance liberty as far as possible, this moment,
      By failing at that, we’ve wasted several decades of those moments, often going backward.

      There are only two choices.
      1) Take what we can get NOW
      2) Be co-conspirator, with statists, to the status quo.

      Can there be any greater sin than REFUSING to move the ball one yard at a time?

  19. Tea Party senators claim to be “open to negotiation” yet insist on repealing Obamacare, which no version of the AHCA has come close to doing.

    Insist on a bill that can’t be passed through reconciliation, and therefore can’t be passed at all, giving us the status quo Obamacare, Now and Forever.

    “Muh principles!”

    1. Nailed it. When the alleged principles cause one to be a co-sonspiractor with the oppressors, the one shares their guilt.

      Butr the rea

      1. Nailed it. When the alleged principles cause one to be a co-sonspiractor with the oppressors, the one shares their guilt.

        But the real problem is that fiscal conservatives (GOP and lib) haven’t had a clue on health care for at least 25 years. Or about free markets.

  20. “the ‘single biggest’ improvement he’s looking for is to ‘lower the cost of premiums.'”

    It’s a real shame they put all their energy into pricing and none into costs.

    1. That’s why they babble endlessly about increasing competition in the wrong market. Insurance is not healthcare. And for total dumbfuckery, noting tops Cato’s suckup to GOP Medicare vouchers. They LOOK LIKE privatization to the goobers, because of private insurance. But any first-year accounting student can tell you that the insurance companies would add a costly (and useless) middle-man.

      How can we defend markets, when we don’t even know what they are?

  21. Either have universal care or don’t bother. These half-n-half schemes don’t work. Obamacare will die in a few years regardless of what the Republicans do, the writing is on the wall.

  22. Either have universal care or don’t bother.

    That requires a transition back to the private market and charities we had BEFORE both government and heath insurers fucked it all up. “Repeal it” is a crazy rejection of what we KNOW Americans were willing to pay for, voluntarily.

    Before Medicare/Medivcaiud, we had universa

    1. Before Medicare/Medicaid we had universal TREATMENT for all who sought it — through 100% private sources, insurers, charities and charity hospitals. Health care was 5.8% of GDP.

      Today, for-profit insurers are down to 15% of the market, government is about 40% and healthcare is 18% of GDP.

      We spend more money per capita on PUBLIC healthcare, for just under 40% of our people, than Sweden,
      the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and Japan spend for the ENTIRE populations.
      http://bit.ly/1i0Yq9c (Page 3)

      To be fair, it has very little to do with public vs private. It’s almost entirely because we’re the only place that can afford to pay $250,000 or more for just a few more months of life … compared with procedures and tests which cannot be afforded anywhere else. Nearly half all our national health care spending is the last year of life — which has been known since the days of HillarycarE. But goobers scream “DEATH PANEL” hysteria, at even sensible alternatives.

  23. Until the Republicans get 60 in their caucus, they will not be able to scuttle this – and they most certainly will get to below 50 before they get to 60. Do they understand that the Democrats will off up a very simply reply to all this talk that ObamaRomneyHeritageCare is a “disaster” that is spelled “Medicare-For-All”? Do they not see that they have the ability to make as good of a deal as possible now as they will ever have?

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