This year was supposed to be a busy one for the Trump administration in pushing for Obamacare repeal & replacement, tax reform, and building the wall. However, with the recent decision of a few Senate Republicans, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan will have to wait a little bit longer to put something on the president’s desk.
On Tuesday, during an editorial board meeting with the Washington Examiner and Red Alert Politics, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) said that Republicans should’ve always driven the Obamacare repeal first, and replace later as it would be easier to sell to millennials.
“Paul Ryan’s better way was you fully repeal all the regulatory apparatus, and then we would legislate our reforms, which would really be patient-centered,” DeSantis said. “And you can deal with some of these issues like pre-existing conditions, but you have to deal with them in a way that promotes solvent markets. And if you do that, then it’s easier I think to take the case to young people.”
He continued to criticize those in the Republican Party who have been talking out of both sides of their mouth. “The fact of the matter is we didn’t fully embrace free market health care in this. It was kind of one foot into the free market bucket, one foot in the government-centered bucket, and I think it was a more confused product than ideally what we would’ve wanted.”
DeSantis noted that the individual mandate penalty completely skewed insurance premiums for younger people because they felt it was more cost-efficient to pay the penalty than waste money on insurance they didn’t need.
“I don’t think the [individual] mandate has been that effective,” DeSantis continued. “But you have to do that because the structure of Obamacare is creating rates that are way above what an actuarial rate would be for these [young] people. So, you just do the calculation, and say, ‘Why would I want to pay thousands of dollars a year for insurance when I can just wait until I start to develop health issues, I can just sign up, no questions asked?'”
“People understand that, so that’s why you’ve seen the risk pools getting worse, you’ve seen adverse selection take effect, [and] you’ve seen insurers leave markets.”
While Senate and House Republicans are eager to get something Obamacare-related passed and sent to the President’s desk before the shortened August recess, it looks like they’ll have to wait as President Trump seeks bipartisan support for a bill.
“I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll let Obamacare fail. We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it,” Trump said on Tuesday. “I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We’ll let Obamacare fail and then the Democrats are going to come to us.”