McConnell downplays ObamaCare defund fight, says law will fail

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday downplayed the need to defund ObamaCare this week, and said the law would likely sink under its own weight as the realities of the law become more clear.

"I think this law has no chance of working," McConnell said in a colloquy with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). "I don't believe that even if we are unable to defund it here in the next few days that we're necessarily stuck with it.

"I think it's pretty safe to conclude: The things that can't work don't stick, don't last. Because we are, after all, a representative Democracy, the people can complain and discuss and tell us how they feel."

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"I don't think this law can possibly stand," he added. "It's pretty hard to predict exactly the day upon which it ends, but it's cracking."

McConnell's comments may go some way toward explaining why he did not join a 21-hour floor speech by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) last night, in which Cruz called on Senate Republicans to hold firm against any funding of ObamaCare. McConnell was the subject of criticism over Twitter during the last 24 hours, as many conservatives were asking why he wasn't on the floor supporting Cruz.

On Wednesday, McConnell asked Paul if he agreed that the law would collapse by itself, and Paul said he did.

"I think once the bills come due at the state level, you're going to have a real uproar on your hands," Paul said.

Paul argued that ObamaCare essentially requires millions of more people to sign up for health coverage, but said that would only drive up healthcare costs more and lead to rationed care. He said many doctors are not expected to take on additional patients seeking care.

McConnell and Paul also agreed that ObamaCare seems likely to leave 25 to 30 million people uninsured, which means the law will not solve even half of the problem that Democrats said it would.

This story was posted at 3:57 p.m. and updated at 5:12 p.m.