Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) admitted Friday it’s “difficult to turn the clock back” on ObamaCare, but proposed making the law voluntary as a possible fix for consumers.
Paul’s comments echo those of other Republicans who have admitted it will be difficult to fully repeal the law after some of its more popular provisions took effect.
The potential 2016 presidential candidate said he ultimately doesn’t think repeal is possible without Republicans controlling the House, the White House and with close to 60 votes in the Senate, like Democrats had when they passed the law.
But he predicted the cost of the law could ultimately have dire effects, suggesting they could “bring down local hospitals” or hamstring state governments.
In the meantime, Paul offered a fix.
“I think one of the practical things you might be able to do, and I think the public at large might accept this, is to make ObamaCare voluntary. You make it voluntary, basically you get rid of the coercion,” he said, presumably by eliminating the penalty those without insurance are required to pay, known as the individual mandate.
He said he may keep some parts of the law, like the subsidies to help poor Americans afford insurance, or the Medicaid expansion -- two of ObamaCare's more popular provisions but potentially its more expensive.
“Does that get rid of the subsidies? Not necessarily, or the Medicaid. But I think also we’re going to find out we can’t afford to have everybody on Medicaid, we can’t afford to have everybody on subsidized insurance,” Paul said.
The Kentucky senator also railed against President Obama for the idea of the law in the first place, telling students gathered at Harvard’s Institute of Politics on Friday that Obama “says that you are not smart enough…to choose your own insurance.”
Paul, who signed up his family for insurance under ObamaCare used his son’s plan as an example. He said it includes coverage for a number of unnecessary procedures “because the president says he’s too dumb and can’t buy an individual product that would cost him a lot less and wouldn’t have as many things included.”