Rand Paul announced he is running for President, but didn’t mention ObamaCare. What cuts would Rand Paul make to the safety net and federal programs?

What Changes Would Rand Paul Make to ObamaCare As President?

We don’t know what changes Rand would make to the Affordable Care Act for sure, but luckily we don’t have to speculate much. Rand is very vocal about his policy ideas and how the budget should look. We know from his past budget proposals that decimating ObamaCare, Medicare, Social Security, and pretty much cutting back on every federal program is on the table. In fact his detailed budgets and vocal personality can give us a lot of insight into the the future of the ACA and the country under theoretical Libertarian(ish) President Paul. Below we use some smart current sources, and Rand’s own work to show his sometimes radical, sometimes Libertarian, and increasingly Conservative views.

This must-watch video does a great job explaining what cuts Rand might make to safety net programs like the Affordable Care Act:

Rand Paul has perhaps the most extensively documented national policy positions of any 2016 contender. He is the only candidate in the race to have prepared his own detailed federal budget — three times, in fact, in fiscal years 2012, 2013, and 2014. The budgets, put together, represent the most radical vision of limited government ever presented by a major American presidential candidate (apart, perhaps, from Paul’s father, Ron Paul). – Vox

If we judge Rand Paul based on his past claims we can assume the following programs will see cuts or elimination (Content below is from Vox. Read more at Vox):

  • CDC Center of Disease Control is cut by 20 percent
  • National Institutes of Health is cut by 20 percent (“much of the research and development undertaken by the NIH provides direct subsidies to the pharmaceutical industry”).
  • Food and Drug Administration is cut by 20 percent (“new FDA powers granted by the recent Food Safety Modernization Act grant the government further intrusion into the nation’s food supply”).
  • NASA is cut by 25 percent (“with the presence of private industries involved in space exploration and space tourism, it is time for NASA to look at ways to reduce spending … since President Obama has determined to realign the goals of NASA away from human space exploration to science and ‘global warming’ research, there is also a need to realign the agency’s funding”).
  • US Geological Survey is cut by 20 percent (“though these are important activities, they can be given to state researchers at our colleges and universities”).
  • Bureau of Reclamation is eliminated (“owning a majority block of energy and water resources is not the business of the federal government”).
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs is eliminated (“swindled and mismanaged billions of dollars in Indian trust funds”).
  • National Parks are cut by 30 percent (“returning these public lands back to the states and or the private sector would allow an increase in quality, safety and a reduction in government spending each year”).
  • Indian Health Services is cut by 20 percent (“notoriously wrought with fraud”).
  • Government Printing Office is eliminated (“every government office and agency should budget for their own printing costs”).

All told, CRFB finds that the FY2012 Paul budget massively reduces the budgets of numerous Cabinet departments:

  • National Science Foundation is cut by 62 percent.
  • State Department is cut by 71 percent.
  • Interior Department cut by 78 percent.
  • Department of Energy is eliminated (except for nuclear energy programs, which are transferred to the Defense Department).
  • General Services Administration is cut by 85 percent.
  • Transportation Department is cut by 49 percent.
  • Department of Agriculture is cut by 49 percent.
  • Department of Health and Human Services is cut by 26 percent.
  • Justice Department is cut by 28 percent.
  • Environmental Protection Agency is cut by 29 percent.

The list goes on. Paul’s budget is heavy on massive cuts to discretionary spending and departmental functions. Some of them are mentioned only in early budgets (like the CDC and NIH cuts), but many — including the NASA, US Geological Survey, and National Parks cuts — are also in the FY2014 budget.

A third party might “fix” things? It really comes down to what you mean by “fix”.

Other changes include:

  • A flat tax (the implications of this are vast. It could lead to the elimination or privatization of most government programs (including Medicare, Social Security), stifle the middle class, and widen the gap in income inequality. Learn all about the pros and cons of a flat tax from investopedia)
  • Eliminating section 8 housing vouchers
  • Eliminating K-12 Education funding
  • Eliminating earned income tax credit
  • Eliminating child tax credit
  • Cutting foreign aid, including Israel
  • Cutting defense budgets
  • A ban on cats being cute (kidding, everything else though is very true)

While the above may seem like a jab at Rand Paul, we are simply gleaning information from a Vox article. That article was responded to by Rand’s team and the above has been updated to reflect the comments of Paul spokesperson Jillian Lane to Vox.

So Does ObamaCare Survive President Rand?

There is little chance that the ACA doesn’t get gutted under Rand.

There is this idea that “Libertarian” means third non-Conservative, non-Liberal, party of freedom, and smart-small Government in-line with the Constitution. But, in reality Rand is kind of like an extreme right-wing guy from all we can tell. And not in a way you expect, in a sort of renegade tea party way that may disappoint even his fellow right wingers.

Any fuzzy ideas you have of Jello Biafra, Punk Rock, and Ron Paul are best left in the scrapbook if you are the type of person who thinks that dismantling the safety net, cutting healthcare, education, and defense spending, cutting back taxes on the 1%, and eliminating non-discrimination laws sound like awful ideas to you.

The concepts of liberty and freedom are awesome. Unfortunately Conservative-Libertarians might not mean liberty and freedom in the same way you understand them. Or maybe they do? Do you stand with Rand? Do you want to take our country back, or do you want to move our country forward? Voice your opinions below.

What do you think?

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Bob on

There is little chance that Obamacare would not be gutted by a President Rand Paul…..but of course there is little chance there will ever be a President Rand Paul.

Mark on

Senator Paul doesn’t intend to cut spending from education, he figures that the Department of Education is wasting their 100 billion dollars on the corrupt bureaucracy that’s known as the federal government, and that all of that money should be transferred to the state and local levels to better address their specific problems. The Obama Administration has proven that big government simply leaves money hanging in the clouds. The American people need to ask themselves this question- Do you want a government that has unlimited power and spending while raising your taxes to unprecedented levels, or do you want a smaller more nimble government that has to spend its money wisely and doesn’t overreach in regulation? Libertarianism has a lot of good ideas in theory. Senator Paul has found the practical medium, and can fix the mess we’re currently in. Please disregard this Obama spoon fed propaganda and research more about Senator Paul’s great plans.

ObamaCareFacts.com on

I agree this is Paul’s overall vibe, but the contents of this page are taken from Rand’s own budgets. Libertarianism has a lot of good ideas in theory, agreed. I don’t think Rand is aiming to separate those ideas from the bad ones and apply them to the Government in a smart way, he seems more focused on a small government ideology that essentially mirrors his conservative counterparts. Rand wants the government out of the war on drugs “SWEET!” Rand wants to tell women what to do with their bodies (ironically non-libertarian) and wants to cut science and NASA funding… “less sweet”. Sure state power is amazing in principal, and vital to our democracy, but ALEC…

Anyway, more dissenting opinions welcome.

Mark Howser on

I’m talking about how extreme libertarianism has good ideas in theory, where-as Rand Paul’s libertarian-conservative approach is real world policy that would actually work. Extreme liberalism and extreme conservatism are terrible both in theory and in practice because they’re both spending ridiculous amounts of money on issues that could be addressed in the free market in a much more effective way. The primary functions of the federal government are foreign policy & defense. Some other basic areas must be covered in a very minimalist way, but the rest can be handled in a much more effective way by the state and local governments, like the constitution intended. The 14th amendment states that the federal government possesses only those powers delegated to it by the United States Constitution. All remaining powers are reserved for the states or the people. And as far as Rand Paul’s budget, those cuts would essentially change nothing if the agencies adapted to the situation, because so much of the spending is caught up in useless bureaucracy and increasing government officials’ ergonomics.

Rand Paul’s ideas are entirely different than his GOP competition. The only arguments you could make from your premise is that he’s pro-life and that he wants to pause immigration until we fix the vetting system. He never joins the rhetoric of the GOP, and has shown the highest level of willingness amongst the Republican party to create bi-partisanship. This is because he’s a true American who doesn’t stoop to the level of the political corruption we see in President Obama, Hillary, Jeb, Rubio, and many others in our leadership.

Rand Paul is pro-life, but he doesn’t intend to pass any legislation that would overturn or impede Roe vs. Wade. He knows that it must be a social movement to realize that it’s murdering the innocent. The free market is currently doing everything that NASA does. Even universities do research in all of the fields NASA does them in. I’m a strong advocate for technological innovation, but NASA isn’t the solution.

ObamaCareFacts.com on

Great answer, the thoughtfulness is appreciated. I agree that extreme anything is not the answer. I do think you are slightly idealizing Rand’s position (but hey, maybe I was demonizing it a bit too). I also think Rand is idealizing libertarianism in his policies, I don’t think those ideals are a blanket answer, but more a rough set of rules (sort of like smart social liberalism or smart fiscally conservative logic).

I would say that the history of tech is one of people, private industry, and the government coming together to push technology forward. I don’t think we should underestimate the role of agencies like NASA, but certainly we could use someone like Rand taking a BillClinton-esq role and trimming some of the fat out of the bills and agencies where they actually are bogged down with bureaucracy and inefficiency. When I start feeling cheery about Rand in this respect I get an ol mouthful of his conservative side and it does lose me personally (and others like me i’m sure) the way he comes at social issues and agencies who are doing something that is good in theory (if not always in practice).

We can look back to Goldwater and his approach to Civil rights. I strongly feel Rand would have done the same thing. And in today’s government I’m not sure I see him effectively standing up to the GOP.