Trump Slams Rand Paul As "Negative Force" On Fixing Healthcare; Paul Immediately Responds

Now that hopes for a bipartisan deal to fix Obamacare are dead and the Republicans are pushing on with a last-minute scramble to repeal Obamacare ahead of a Sept. 30 legislative deadline in hopes third time will be the charm, on Wednesday morning just after 8am, President Trump slammed Sen. Rand Paul for being a "negative force" on health care.

"Rand Paul is a friend of mine but he is such a negative force when it comes to fixing healthcare. Graham-Cassidy Bill is GREAT! Ends Ocare!" Trump tweeted adding "I hope Republican Senators will vote for Graham-Cassidy and fulfill their promise to Repeal & Replace ObamaCare. Money direct to States!"

Previously Paul had called the bill from Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy "ObamaCare lite" and said he wouldn't support it.  The Graham-Cassidy bill seeks to give more power to states by converting money currently spent on ObamaCare’s subsidies and Medicaid expansion into a block grant to states.

Paul wasted no time in responding to Trump's accusation, and just moments later responded that "#GrahamCassidy is amnesty for Obamacare. It keeps it, it does not repeal it. I will keep working with the President for real repeal."

According to the Hill, earlier this week, Paul expressed concern that the Republicans' latest attempt to repeal ObamaCare might pass.

“There's a big groundswell of people pushing for this,” Paul told Reporters on Monday. “Two weeks ago, I’d have said zero [chance it’ll pass], but now I’m worried.”

He said the bill "does not look, smell or even sound like repeal" and “I’m kind of surprised this has been resurrected because I don’t think it has been fully thought through." He also said the bill exists "mostly to take money from four Democratic states and redistribute it to Republican states."

However, just like during the last two failed attempts to repeal Obamacare, it will not be up to Paul but senators John McCain and Lisa Murkowski who will decide the fate of the Republicans latest ObamaCare repeal effort. The two were among the three Republicans, along with Sen. Susan Collins who sunk the last GOP effort to repeal ObamaCare.

With Paul saying he is voting no and Collins thought to be a likely opponent, the bill would need both McCain and Murkowski to vote yes to pass.

* * *

As a reminder, efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare sprung back with considerable momentum on Monday (after two failed attempts) as several lawmakers expressed support for a new repeal and replace bill, spearheaded by Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La. Introduced last week, Graham described the bill as Republicans’ last hope for rolling back President Barack Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act.

“If you believe repealing and replacing Obamacare is a good idea, this is your best and only chance to make it happen,” said Graham last week at a press conference. The bill is also sponsored by Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.

With 52 Republican Senators in Congress, the Graham-Cassidy bill can only afford to lose two Republican votes.

* * *

Here, courtesy of ABC, is what to know about the proposal:

The Graham-Cassidy plan

The Graham-Cassidy plan proposes distributing some federal funding currently available under the Affordable Care Act directly to states in the form of block grants. From 2020 to 2026, states would receive a set amount of federal funding to be used at their discretion for health care coverage, but cost-sharing subsidies the federal government pays to insurance companies to lower the cost of some plans on the individual insurance markets and money some states receives to expand their Medicaid rolls would go away.

The 31 states that applied for Medicaid expansion funding under the Affordable Care Act would see that money rolled back and eventually cut off. Graham and Cassidy say their plan would help balance Medicaid funding across the country, but Democrats say states with large Medicaid populations would struggle to provide coverage to their populations. Spending on Medicaid would be done per capita, meaning that less populous states like Maine and Alaska--home to two Senators currently on the fence about the plan--might struggle to foot the bill.

The plan would repeal two key parts of Obamacare, the individual and employer mandates, and states could apply for waives to alter what counts as an “essential health benefit” for insurance companies as they design their plan options. In addition, states could obtain waivers so that insurance companies could charge people with some pre-existing conditions more for some plans in their states. That practice is prohibited under current law. While insurers would likely still have to offer people with pre-existing plans choices, they could potentially limit coverage options as well under the proposed bill.

Graham-Cassidy would also allow people over the age of 30 to buy into catastrophic coverage plans, which have high deductibles but lower premiums and less benefits, as a way to get more healthy people covered. The bill would also allow insurance companies to charge older Americans five times more than younger Americans. Obamacare taxes unpopular with Republicans, like the medical device tax, and tax on health savings accounts would also be repealed.

* * *

When will Congress vote?

McConnell assured Graham and Cassidy a vote would be scheduled with the condition that the Senators drum up the 50 votes needed to pass the bill. Republican leadership is hard at work trying to convince a small--but undecided--group to commit their support to the legislation. McCain has raised procedural concerns over the bill, saying he is hesitant to support any legislation that has not been scrutinized in committee hearings.

“Why did -- why did Obamacare fail? Obamacare was rammed through with Democrats' votes only. Are we going to ram through our proposal with Democrats and the president? That's not the way to do it,” said McCain on CBS' "Face the Nation."

McCain is one of a handful of Senators, including Susan Collins, R-Maine, Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Shelley Moore Capito, R. W.Va., and Rob Portman, R- Ohio, who have not indicated their support for the bill. Some have appeared to scrap repeal efforts altogether in favor of working towards the small, bipartisan solutions for the individual insurance market that have been introduced in hearings with the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has remained strongly opposed to the Graham-Cassidy bill, even calling it “Obamacare-lite.” With one Senator already voting no, Republicans cannot afford to lose more than one more vote. A primary roadblock for Graham and Cassidy has been the Congressional Budget Office, or C.B.O. The C.B.O. announced on Monday that while it plans to offer a “preliminary assessment” of the bill, it will not be able to provide a full score of the bill for “at least a few weeks.” The C.B.O. score indicates how much the legislation will affect the government’s deficit and is needed for the Senate to vote.

Graham pleaded for the C.B.O. to expedite its scoring process so he can present cost estimates to Senate colleagues before Sept. 30. But Democrats say the Senate should not vote on the legislation unless a full--not preliminary--score is released.

* * *

The political battle ahead

Ryan called Graham-Cassidy, “our best, last chance to get repeal and replace" on Monday at an event in Wisconsin. And Republican leaders, sensing an opportunity to knock down key parts of Obamacare, are moving full speed ahead with the bill. Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey endorsed the bill on Monday, adding extra pressure for McCain to support a bill written by one of his closest allies and friends in the Senate. In an interview with ABC News, Collins said she is still undecided. "I'm leaning no certainly, but I am still evaluating the bill and its text. We hadn't had it for very long and it's difficult to do without the assistance of the Congressional Budget Office." Democrats say those cuts to Medicaid are unacceptable, with Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Ct., tweeting that Graham-Cassidy “is an intellectual and moral garbage truck fire.”

Comments

Jim in MN idontcare Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:10 Permalink

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This simple amendment would bring large financial incentives to bear on cost containment on the health provider (not insurance) side. Without this or something like it there is no actual health care reform.  There is only cost escalation, collapse and probably nationalization.  Let's give the market one more chance to serve the 90% of people not involved in catastrophic care.   AMENDMENT LANGUAGE:   Joint Operations-Premium Yield Fund A Joint Operations-Premium Yield (JOPY) fund is established for each state that requests it.  The amount of the JOPY fund will be $350 for each person in the state. The JOPY fund will be available for two purposes: A.      To provide competitive incentives to health care providers serving the state. B.      To provide premium relief for households in the state. Competitive incentive payments:  The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, or his designee, will establish a set of competitive performance indicators for health care providers focused on supplier bidding in purchasing and services.  Health care providers that petition for incentive payments and show progress toward competitive cost containment will be awarded incentive payments from the JOPY fund.  The amount of the incentive payments will be determined by the Secretary or his designee. Premium relief:  States establishing JOPY funds may utilize funds for premium relief for households in that state.  Premium relief funds will be made available to each household on an equal share basis.  States may use existing tax or other financial transaction systems to transfer and distribute premium relief payments to households.

In reply to by idontcare

realmoney2015 Jim in MN Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:12 Permalink

Why are healthcare cost so much higher than they used to be? Socialized healthcare is the obvious answer. But there is an underlying cause that most do not realize. Healthcare costs per person per year is about 9 gold coins, the same as it was about 50 years ago. Our 'money' has just lost its value. Gold and silver are real money and hold their value. Yes, we need to fix our healthcare system and go to a free market solution. But the much bigger issue, the one that affects everything else is our corrupt monetary system. Help us spread the message and raise awareness: www.scentsaverscandles.com https://m.facebook.com/scentsaverscandlesEnd the Fed and cut the head off the beast!

In reply to by Jim in MN

SethPoor Chupacabra-322 Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:38 Permalink

Does the bill ELIMINATE the personal mandate ?Anyone know for sure? This article says it does; I have heard that has now been, or will be at the last minute, removed from the final bill.If the mandates are eliminated, then I say pass it; everything will implode in due course. Kill the mandate ... set us free.

In reply to by Chupacabra-322

RedBaron616 dark pools of soros Wed, 09/20/2017 - 12:20 Permalink

Would the liberals compromise? Heck No! So why does Rand have to compromise? Do it right or don't do it at all.It should NEVER be REPEAL AND REPLACE.  It should ONLY be REPEAL NOW!Next up, ALL Federal Government Regulations relating to healthcare.You guys tinker around the edges and then when the libs are in again, they will go 90mph on what you left in place.

In reply to by dark pools of soros

HopefulCynical Chupacabra-322 Wed, 09/20/2017 - 11:36 Permalink

The LP is a joke. Thong Boy, Bake The Cake, and a complete willingness to be totally haphazard and random about ending Federal laws and departments. I'm sure the oligarchy will love it; the few restrictions on their exploitation will be removed first, while the laws and regulations which protect them from competition will be, like Obamacare is today, "just a bit out of our reach this time. Next time, we promise!"Add that to the fact that if you think CONgress is refusing to work with POTUS now, wait until POTUS is neither (D) nor (R).The LP is not the answer; maybe it never was. We don't need a third party; as Reagan noted, we need a viable SECOND party first. Job #1 is to get the fucking Marxist establishment parasites out of the GOP: McStain, Gramnesty, Yertle, Ryno, etc.

In reply to by Chupacabra-322

RedBaron616 HopefulCynical Wed, 09/20/2017 - 12:24 Permalink

We are a long, long way from Reagan and the GOP will NEVER be a CONSERVATIVE Party, regardless of WHO you put out of it. When the majority of GOPers in Congress vote McConnell and Ryan for their leaders, the whole bunch is corrupt.Only a third party, like the Constitution Party, has the moxie to call a spade a spade.I refuse to EVER vote for anyone with an (R) after their name ever again. They lie, get in office, and do the opposite. Totally done with the GOP. I will write myself in if necessary.

In reply to by HopefulCynical

PrayingMantis realmoney2015 Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:53 Permalink

... meanwhile, the sandals-wearing bully (some call them flip-flops), backs off ... Nukie Haley says: "Trump does not want war with N. Korea, US not giving up on diplomatic efforts..." >>> https://www.rt.com/usa/403957-trump-war-korea-haley/ ...

... the dog(s) of war retreat(s) with tail(s) clipped behind hind legs when faced with a nuclear deterrent ...

... now, who's the next regime-change candidate on the bully's list that has no nuclear defence capabilities? ... poor Venezuela ... Cuba perhaps? ...
... China, Russia to the rescue, yet again and possibly all the South-American countries too ...

... the bully is really building his own "wall" of isolation ... from his own party, from the peaceful international communities, and from his previous supporters... something like trying to MAGA ... make assholes great again ...

... I wonder what his swamp (((masters))) would order him to do next ...

In reply to by realmoney2015

Buckaroo Banzai realmoney2015 Wed, 09/20/2017 - 11:11 Permalink

"Why are healthcare cost so much higher than they used to be? Socialized healthcare is the obvious answer."Yes, this is a gigantic part of it. Just look at how administrative and bureaucratic costs have skyrocketed since Medicaid/Medicare was passed; and this is also a private-sector phenomenon as the insurance industry has also become vast and bloated as well-- they hire $100,000 worth of bureaucrats to control $10,000 worth of health care provider costs, so why is anybody surprised that insurance costs are skyrocketing. And given that those bureaucracy costs are passed along to health care providers, it is a negative feedback loop that is rapidly spiraling out to inifinity."But there is an underlying cause that most do not realize. Healthcare costs per person per year is about 9 gold coins, the same as it was about 50 years ago."The flaw in your argument is that healthcare and pharmaceutical technologies have made massive strides in the last 50 years. In every other industry on earth, technology improvements have massively driven down real costs; yet in healthcare, technology gains have been exactly zero according to your gold-coin analysis. We should expect healthcare costs per person to have been reduced by some gigantic percentage (like, say, 80% or 90% in real terms) which would imply that something like one gold coin should pay for one person's healthcare costs, not 9 coins. 

In reply to by realmoney2015

Bobrsta Jim in MN Wed, 09/20/2017 - 10:26 Permalink

But Paul's position that the federal government should not be taking money from states then giving it back in this manner is correct. If states want to enact some sort of health insurance, they are free to do so under the Constutution, but not the federal government. I'll take Paul's analysis over Trump's any day.

In reply to by Jim in MN

338 Bobrsta Wed, 09/20/2017 - 18:16 Permalink

TAXATION IS THEFT!! Taking my money, I earned, sending it to the real swampcreatures to vaccum off 45% to pay their ridiculous salaries and pensions, then send a few raisins back to the states is akin to solving cannibalism by eating the cannibal. Recind the 16th amendment, abolish the fucking IRS and then maybe we can build the wall, around DC and start filling that swamp with the sewage from Maryland and Virginia. just a thought sean

In reply to by Bobrsta

herkomilchen NoDebt Wed, 09/20/2017 - 11:19 Permalink

Yes, and must rip out not only Obamacare, must rip out all health care and health care insurance regulations as well.As usual, the argument for the need for Obamacare highlighted the painful failings of the status quo.  A status quo made awful by prior government intervention in the healthcare market.Heaping additional layers upon layers of increasing government control is how the government game works.  Each strips away more freedom.  Each is justified by and does partially compensate for standing problems.  But in so doing creates 10x more problems in other areas and down the line.  Each of which requires more government control, etc., ad infinitum.Only way to escape this vicious cycle is return to a fully free market across entire health care ecosystem.  Only then will we see authentic orders of magnitude improvement in quality/cost/availability of care.

In reply to by NoDebt

dogismycopilot Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:05 Permalink

Fucking Trump just doesn't know when to stop, does he? Fuck, he's better than Hillary, but Jesus, the shit that comes out of his mouth and his flip flopping and all of those impotent fucks he hired (yeah you Sessions). What a shit show.

Memedada dogismycopilot Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:17 Permalink

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Better than Hillary – in what sense? Both are servants of the oligarchy. Both are owned by the banking sector. Both are fascists. What’s the bigger difference? I loathe both (and the corporate controlled parties they represents).
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The only relevant difference between the two is war. Hillary obviously being a warmonger, but since Trump appointed three warmongering generals in central positions and since his war-promoting speech at the UN (yesterday) that difference is not relevant anymore. Trump is owned/controlled – and not just because he is dependent on the Ponzi (being a FIAT-billionaire) but also because he has no intellectual capacity to challenge the influence of his banksters and MIC-“advisors” (handlers). 

In reply to by dogismycopilot

TheReplacement dogismycopilot Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:39 Permalink

Tell us more when the local yokel po-po roll up in an armored vehicle sporting .50s just because you said something mean about someone in the protected classes.  You did see he is militarizing the cops and signed a bill into law that will be used to persecute white people for speaking out about race and culture right? Well at least he didn't put Goldman in charge of anything.Derrrrrr

In reply to by dogismycopilot