Paul: "This is keeping Obamacare and redistributing the proceeds"
He told reporters Monday that it was a "bad bill"
Sen. Rand Paul continues to attack the latest Republican attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare – the Graham-Cassidy bill – calling it “another big government boondoggle.”
Speaking on Fox News Tuesday, Paul denounced the bill as an Obamacare 2.0 that happens to give more power to states.
“This isn’t a repeal. This is keeping Obamacare and redistributing the proceeds.,” said Paul. “So, this is not a repeal bill, this is sort of, ‘Hey, we’ll take Obamacare, replace it with Obamacare, but we’re going to let the states have a little more power in how we spend it.’”
Paul said he would support a partial repeal bill – as he did with the “skinny bill” that was voted on earlier this summer and failed to pass – but argued that the Graham-Cassidy bill is not that.
“The Graham-Cassidy bill basically immortalizes Obamacare, keeps Obamacare spending, keeps the taxes and all it does is reshuffle the proceeds from Democratic states,” he said.
Paul made similar comments against the bill on Monday, telling reporters that it was a “bad bill.”
He said he was surprised the bill has picked up momentum and said he is now starting to worry about its chances of passing. He added that the cuts to Medicaid could jeopardize moderate votes.
“I think it’s more complicated that some people make it out to be,” he said.
The bill would repeal the individual and employer mandates as well as shift Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion funding and insurance subsidy structure into a block grant program for states.
Instead, Paul said Tuesday that he’s been talking to President Donald Trump about allowing people to buy healthcare across state lines through his association-based plan by utilizing a 1974 law.
In that plan, groups of individuals who work together would be able to buy insurance together across state lines. Paul used the example of McDonald’s employees buying insurance under the National Restaurant Association.
“If 15 million people could get together to buy their insurance, guess what, they would get a cheaper price, they would get protection against preexisting conditions, and I think they would get most of the things they want,” Paul said.
He said he thinks Trump will suggest a similar plan within the next few weeks.
House Speaker Paul Ryan has urged the Senate to pass the Graham-Cassidy health care bill, calling the proposal “our best, last chance to get repeal and replace done.”
If the bill passed the Senate, Ryan said, he would bring it straight to the House floor vote a vote.
Speaking to reporters at a tax reform event at a Harley-Davidson facility in his home state of Wisconsin on Monday night, Ryan said the proposal was “a far greater improvement over the status quo” and said he was encouraging all senators to vote for the plan.
CNN’s Deirdre Walsh and Sophie Tatum contributed to this report