02:20 - Source: CNN
Obama looks to save Obamacare from GOP repeal

Story highlights

Senator's op-ed called for the total repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act.

'As we repeal Obamacare, we would be wise to vote on its replacement,' he wrote

CNN —  

As Republicans are taking control of Congress, Sen. Rand Paul is warning fellow lawmakers of the possible dire consequences of killing Obamacare piecemeal.

Paul, in an op-ed published Monday, called for the total repeal and immediate replacement of the Affordable Care Act.

The Kentucky senator argues that keeping popular provisions of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, while eliminating less popular, structural pieces, would “only accentuate the bankrupting of the insurance industry.”

Writing for the website Rare, Paul explained that Republicans needed to vote for a complete repeal of Obamacare, while simultaneously voting on an adequate replacement. “As we repeal Obamacare, we would be wise to vote on its replacement at the same time,” Paul wrote.

He added: “If Congress fails to vote on a replacement at the same time as repeal, the repealers risk assuming the blame for the continued unraveling of Obamacare.”

The popular parts of the law – such as one that allows individuals with pre-existing conditions to buy insurance after their diagnosis – only work when the other parts like the individual mandate are maintained, Paul argued.

“If you repeal this mandate, but leave in place dictates as to whom may purchase insurance, you create a business model doomed to fail,” he wrote.

Still, Paul avoided providing much in the way of specifics about a potential replacement system.

Instead, he suggested that “perhaps we should try freedom,” and sketched out four principles that should guide the formation of a potential replacement – maintaining freedom of choice, offering health savings accounts, removing state-by-state barriers, and providing “the freedom for all individuals to join together in voluntary associations to gain the leverage of being part of a large insurance pool.”