GOP failure to repeal Obamacare provides new opportunity for full repeal

We favor a free-market health care system.

On Sept. 26, Republicans once again failed to keep their promise of the last seven years to repeal Obamacare. After three dissenting senators denied the Republicans a majority vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell canceled a vote on the bill. John McCain, breaking repeated promises to repeal Obamacare, outright complained that the bill did not follow regular order. Susan Collins worried that the repeal bill went too far. Only Rand Paul made a principled argument that the replacement was simply Obamacare light.

The Libertarian Party maintains that it makes no sense to replace one bad plan with another.

“Obamacare is like two government bureaucrats and an insurance company bureaucrat getting between you and your doctor,” said Libertarian National Committee Chairman Nicholas Sarwark. “The Republicans would replace that with two insurance bureaucrats and a government bureaucrat between you and your doctor.”

Only a repeal, coupled with scaling back other government intrusions into health care and insurance systems, would allow a real market to function again and bring inexpensive medical services to a far wider range of people.

“The Libertarian solution is to repeal and deregulate,” Sarwark added. “You don’t cover oil changes with your car insurance. You should not be forced to cover flu shots with your health insurance, larding the cost with insurance company and government functionary overhead and profits.”

In 35 states, a Certificate of Need must be approved by the state before new hospitals and other health care facilities can be built. The most basic economic principles tell us that restricting the supply of medical care increases costs.

Doctors in the United States are paid between two and five times as much as doctors in other developed countries, thanks to legislative favors granted to the American Medical Association that limit the numbers of both medical schools and new doctors.

Finally, the effective monopoly granted to the pharmaceutical industry through the patent process has increased drug costs in the United States to an unwarranted extent. The FDA also denies dying patients the right to try experimental drugs, when in many cases they have no other hope.

Repeal and replace with Obamacare light? The Libertarian Party says no. Instead, repeal and replace with massive deregulation that will make the health care market competitive again and result in lower prices for everyone.

While Democrats and Republicans play partisan games that undermine the health of Americans, Libertarians are interested in passing common-sense solutions.