Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was complaining about the GOP establishment’s attempt to serve up a watered-down Obamacare overhaul before it was cool. And it looks like his pressure is paying off as it’s become apparent that Senate leaders can’t muster the support they need to push through the healthcare reform bill as written.
Paul’s main problem with the current reform effort is that it fails to open the insurance system up to group insurance organizations, which lawmaker said is the best way to provide insurance options to Americans with preexisting conditions.
“What I’ve been saying over and over again, is let people in the individual market join a group,” Paul said on CNN last week. “Let them join the chamber of commerce, the NFIB, AARP, Farm Bureau– let them buy group insurance across state lines, let them be part of a big co-op.”
The Kentucky lawmaker noted that this free market approach would largely separate the government from the insurance business, while still allowing it to provide help to the Americans who need it the most.
“What would happen is virtually everyone would get coverage through a group plan,” Paul said. “There would be a few people who fall through the cracks. And I think that’s what Medicaid is for.”
For the left, which contends there’s no way to help Americans with preexisting conditions to obtain insurance without government force, Paul offered a lesson in market economics.
“It’s market leverage,” Paul said. “For example, General Motors might have two hundred thousand workers, and they have some who are sick… Somebody sells them insurance because they want the two hundred thousand workers.
“So let’s say the Farm Bureau in Kentucky has thirty thousand people that buy insurance through them,” Paul offered. “What if they say tomorrow ‘we’re no longer buying individual policies, we’re going to one of the insurance companies and see if one of them will sell us [a policy] and get all of our business’? I think they have the market leverage to do this.
“Imagine AARP. AARP has thirty-three million people. If they chose to negotiate for health insurance, who wouldn’t want their business?”
Insurance companies simply couldn’t afford to turn down such organizations if the government backed away from the industry, Paul added.