Sen. Rand Paul tells Newsmax that as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision upholding Obamacare’s individual mandate, millions of Americans are going to lose their private health insurance and be dumped into Medicaid.
The Kentucky Republican — who insists Obamacare is unconstitutional despite the court’s ruling — also says it is a “recipe for bankruptcy for our country,” but believes the ruling will galvanize conservatives to elect Republicans who will repeal Obama’s healthcare reform.
Sen. Paul, a tea party favorite, was elected to the Senate in 2010.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, he was asked about the likely consequences of the Supreme Court ruling.
Watch the exclusive video here.
It’s long been my contention and my main opposition to Obamacare — which I think is still unconstitutional despite what the majority has ruled — that millions of Americans are going to lose their private insurance,” he said.
“Why? Because business will say, well, if I pay a $2,000 fine, I can dump them onto the health exchange, which ultimately may mean Medicaid for these folks. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that as many as 20 million people might lose their private insurance and go on to Medicaid. The McKenzie Group said 50 to 60 million people could lose their private insurance and go on to Medicaid.
“The problem is that Medicaid’s paid for by the taxpayers and the taxpayers are already beleaguered in many states. Medicaid is the driving force, the largest item in most state budgets, growing faster than any other item. Nothing in this bill does anything to control costs, it’s just going to shift them to the taxpayer, and I fear it’s going to lead more quickly to bankruptcies for states.”
As for how states will seek to make up for the additional expense of rising Medicaid costs, Paul says: “Everything’s going to get pinched, and that’s really the problem.
“I see an increasingly adversarial role between federal government and state government, between state government and the taxpayers, because the taxpayers are beleaguered. They don’t want more taxes. But they’re stuck because Medicaid’s going to grow by leaps and bounds and the costs are not controlled.
“Why are the costs higher under Medicaid and why can’t they control them? Because you make it free and people overuse it. People don’t have any question or limitation on how often they go to the doctor if it’s free.
“That’s the whole problem behind socialized medicine or any kind of thing that the government gives for free. It gets over-utilized, drives up the price, and then the expenditures to society at large are much larger because no one really makes a consumer decision when they go to the doctor.”
Paul also commented on Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision to side with the more liberal members of the court and uphold the most of Obamacare.
“I’m disturbed by it,” Paul said. “I wish he were more of a fan of Madison. Madison thought that the General Welfare Clause was limited by the enumerated powers — if it wasn’t something that was enumerated in the Constitution, if it wasn’t specifically given to the federal government, it was left to the states and the people.
“This ruling really does a grave disservice to those who believe in that original interpretation of the Constitution because, basically, this goes along with decisions from the FDR era that basically say there are no limitations to tax and spending. They said it’s limited under the commerce clause but so what — just stick it under the tax and spending clause and government can do whatever they want.
“And that’s a recipe for disaster because the government we have is $1 trillion in debt every year, $16 trillion in debt overall. And if you say that this government and all future governments have no limitations, that the tax and spending authority is limitless, it’s a recipe for bankruptcy for our country. It’s a sad day that it’s come to this and I’m very disappointed.”
Asked how the ruling might impact voting and voter turnout, Paul responded: “My hope is that the tea party rallies begin to be energized again and that the conservative base of the party swells up and says we’ve had enough of this. We’ve had enough of four years of the most anti-business administration we’ve ever had.
“My prediction is this ruling, as bad as it is, will galvanize the conservatives, galvanize the conservative base and get them out to elect a Republican nominee that basically has said on day one he’ll give a waiver not to his friends, not to his big donors, but to all 50 states.
“The president’s been giving waivers already, but only to his friends, only to big donors, unions and, apparently, restaurants where Nancy Pelosi likes to have dinner.
“Giving a waiver to all 50 states will be upheld by the courts.”
Paul added: “If you want to get rid of Obamacare, you’re going to get one last shot and that’s in November.”
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