News and Commentary

Rand Paul: GOP Health Care Bill Is ‘Obamacare-Lite’

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) described Republican senators’ proposals for “health care” legislation as “Obamacare-lite,” during a press gaggle on Thursday.

Paul is joining Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) in opposing the proposed GOP “health care” bill “in its current form.”

Partial transcript below:

“Myself and three other senators are releasing a statement as we speak, and the statement will say that we cannot support the current bill. We’re open to negotiation, but we want the bill to look more like a repeal [of the Affordable Care Act AKA ‘Obamacare’]. We’re afraid that when we read the bill, it actually looks more like a reiteration or a keeping of Obamacare.

As we estimate the costs of the subsidies to buy insurance, we actually believe that they may exceed, or at least equal, subsidies under Obamacare. As we look at the expense of the bill, we actually believe in the first year or two that it may well cost most than Obamacare. And as we look at some of the things like, a brand new federal program to pay insurance companies – the stabilization fund – we think that the idea that we’re going to allow the death spiral of Obamacare to continue, but we’re going to subsidize it, it’s just not a very Republican notion.

I’m open to voting for it, but I think with a group of people we have a better chance of having it modified.”

Paul express hope that he, Cruz, Lee, and Johnson have the “leverage” to improve the current proposals to reform health care legislation.

Current GOP proposals to reform health care legislation, said Paul, amount to a betrayal of Republican promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act:

“To my mind, the most important thing is [Republicans] promised to repeal Obamacare. The current bill looks like we’re keeping large parts of Obamacare. In fact, one of the architects [of Obamacare], Jonathan Gruber, has come out and said, ‘Hurray! It looks like they’re not really repealing Obamacare.’ I think he’s probably accurate.

I think it looks a lot like Obamacare, actually.”

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