Will Republican failure to repeal Obamacare benefit Libertarians?

Last week, Senate Republicans trotted out three different prescriptions to the public-private boondoggle that is Obamacare, with each one failing despite a GOP majority in the upper chamber of Congress.

President Donald Trump’s quite literal use of the bully pulpit backfired within his own party.

“Sens. Susan Collins, John McCain, and Lisa Murkowski deserve praise for standing up to the president’s strong-arm tactics,” said Nicholas Sarwark, chair of the Libertarian National Committee. “Their no votes against an administration from their own party show the strength that people can have when they stand up to the corrupt two-party system that wavers between business as usual and fake attempts at reform. Derided as too maverick by the political establishment of their own parties, independent-thinking representatives from across the nation have a golden opportunity now to make their voices heard.”

Sarwark commented in a recent CNN interview, “I have to give thanks to Donald Trump and the Republican Party. Their success in getting control of government and then showing that they can’t do anything once they have that control has been a better argument for joining the Libertarian Party than anything I could say.”

In the wee hours of last Friday morning, the Republicans failed to keep their promise of the last seven years to repeal Obamacare. The text of the various bills written by GOP leadership was held secret until the last moment. Sen. McCain, getting up from his brain cancer sick bed, along with Sens. Murkowski and Collins, voted against a watered-down repeal-and-replace bill. McCain correctly noted that the “skinny repeal fell short because it fell short of our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare with meaningful reform.”

He was right. And he bravely stood up against intense bullying from President Trump.

Although Libertarians might disagree on what constitutes meaningful reform, 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. The Republicans would replace that with two insurance bureaucrats and a government bureaucrat between you and your doctor.

The Libertarian solution is to repeal and deregulate. 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 overhead and profits that flow to insurance companies and government functionaries.

In 35 states, a Certificate of Need must be approved by the state before new hospitals and other health care facilities can be built. Econ 101 tells us that restricting the supply of medical care increases costs.

Doctors in the United States make between two and five times the amount that doctors in other developed countries earn, thanks to legislative favors granted to the American Medical Association that limit the number of medical schools and new doctors.

The effective monopoly granted to the pharmaceutical industry through the patent process has also increased drug costs in the United States to an unwarranted extent. And the FDA should not be able to prevent dying patients from trying experimental drugs.

Repeal and replace Obamacare 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.