Senator Rand Paul took to the Sunday talk shows again this week to discuss the fate of Senate Health care bill 2.0., and in news that will surprise almost no one who’s been following along, the conservative Kentucky senator said Sunday on Fox and Friends that he doesn't think Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has the votes to pass the healthcare bill in its current form, according to the Hill.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a new version of a healthcare plan earlier this week, which, among other things, incorporates demands from Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) to allow insurers to sell low-cost, skimpier plans all in an effort to draw conservative support for the new bill.
Yet apparently the revisions weren’t enough to win over Paul, one of the senate’s most dedicated conservatives.
"I don't think right now he does," Paul, a vocal critic of the Senate's healthcare plan, said on "Fox News Sunday."
Paul, who said that dozens of Republicans won thanks to their campaigning against Obamacare, again floated the idea of first repealing, and later replacing it. There is significant resistance to that plan among other senators, including Republicans, though the White House has indicated President Trump is open to it.
"What I've suggested to the president ... if this comes to an impasse, I think if the president jumps into the fray and says 'Look guys, you promised to repeal it, let's just repeal what we can agree to," Paul said.
"And then we can continue to try to fix, replace or whatever has to happen afterwards," he continued.
Republicans should try to repeal as many of the taxes, regulations and mandates as possible, Paul said.
Paul was later pressed on whether he would rather keep ObamaCare than pass the current GOP's healthcare legislation. He said that the current system is "terrible."
"The death spiral of ObamaCare is unwinding the whole system, and it will continue to unwind, but I don't think Republicans should put their name on this key part of ObamaCare," Paul said.
"And then we're going to be blamed for the rest of the unwinding of ObamaCare. It's a really bad political strategy and it's not going to fix the problem."
McConnell on Saturday announced Senate consideration of the healthcare legislation would be delayed while Sen. John McCain recovers from surgery, according to the Hill.
During a separate interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Paul said he thinks more conservative Republicans will realize the Senate GOP's healthcare bill does not actually repeal ObamaCare and drop their support for the bill the longer the proposal is out there. McConnell this week delayed the upcoming vote until Sen. John McCain recovers from surgery for a blood clot.
"I think the longer the bill's out there, the more conservative Republicans are going to discover that it's not repeal," Paul said.
"And the more that everybody's going to discover that it keeps the fundamental flaw of ObamaCare."
When asked about McConnell’s decision to delay the vote while Sen. John McCain recovers from surgery, Paul said he didn’t think McCain’s presence would sway the vote one way or another.
Paul said the bill in its current form keeps insurance mandates that "cause the prices to rise, which chase young, healthy people out of the marketplace."
"And leads to what people call adverse selection, where you have a sicker and sicker insurance pool and the premiums keep rising through the roof," Paul said.
"And one of the amazing things to me is, for all the complaints of Republicans about ObamaCare, we keep that fundamental flaw."