Paul floats healthcare compromise

Paul floats healthcare compromise
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Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulCurtis wins GOP primary for House seat vacated by Jason Chaffetz Glimmer of hope in bipartisan criminal justice reform effort Trump barrage stuns McConnell and his allies MORE (R-Ky.), an ardent opponent of ObamaCare, is proposing Republicans leave in place the law's subsidies while spending less on them, a compromise he thinks could gather the support needed to pass a repeal of the law. 

The House GOP's repeal bill was pulled from the floor last month after losing support from both conservative and moderate blocs of the party.

Conservatives opposed the repeal bill because they said its refundable tax credits, which would help people buy health insurance, are a new entitlement. 

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Those credits are similar to the subsidies under ObamaCare but are based on age, not income. 

They would also help the federal government spend less on such credits: The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Republican subsidies would be, on average, only half as much as ObamaCare's by 2026. 

Paul suggested that keeping the structure of ObamaCare's subsidies would placate moderates, even as spending less on them would appeal to conservatives. 

Conservatives might be willing to support that because they would avoid voting for a bill that creates something new, Paul said. 

"A compromise could be keeping some of those underlying things in ObamaCare ... in order to placate people who want that," he told reporters Monday.

His compromise, he said, would make it so conservatives aren't "voting to create something they disagree with." 

He also suggested starting over with a new bill, rather than trying to move forward with the bill pulled from the floor last month. 

"When I talked to people, I still get a sense that the [Speaker Paul] Ryan [R-Wis.] bill was too big and had a lot of stuff that was objectionable to too many people," Paul said.

He said he brought up his idea while golfing with President Trump over the weekend. 

"We talked about it quite a bit, and I think where they are is still trying to make it work with what they have," Paul said. 

Ryan said last week that the GOP was still working on getting the votes for the bill. 

"I'm trying to offer a different way in case we're still at an impasse," Paul said.