Rand Paul: Senate bill 'does not repeal Obamacare'

Rand Paul: Senate bill 'does not repeal Obamacare'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulLexington mayor launches bid for Congress Trump-free Kennedy Center Honors avoids politics Meet the Iran hawk who could be Trump's next secretary of State MORE (R-Ky.) in a new op-ed blasts the Senate GOP's healthcare bill, saying it doesn't repeal ObamaCare.

In the piece published Wednesday on Breitbart News, Paul criticized ObamaCare and targeted those in the GOP who he said are not upholding their commitment to repeal the former president's signature healthcare legislation.

Paul — a vocal critic of the healthcare bill — said he's not able to support the Senate GOP's proposal in its current form.

"I miss the old days, when Republicans stood for repealing Obamacare. Republicans across the country and every member of my caucus campaigned on repeal — often declaring they would tear out Obamacare 'root and branch!'" Paul wrote in the op-ed.

"What happened?" he asked.

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"Now too many Republicans are falling all over themselves to stuff hundreds of billions of taxpayers’ dollars into a bill that doesn’t repeal Obamacare and feeds Big Insurance a huge bailout."

Paul then made clear that he does not believe the Senate's healthcare bill repeals ObamaCare.

"I want to repeat that so everyone realizes why I’ll vote 'no' as it stands now," Paul wrote. "The Senate Obamacare bill does not repeal Obamacare. Not even close."

Instead, Paul said, the Senate GOP's healthcare bill "codifies and likely expands many aspects of Obamacare."

"One might even argue it’s worse than Obamacare-lite because it actually creates a giant superfund to bail out the insurance companies — something even the Democrats feared to do," Paul wrote.

He added that the GOP's establishment had said Republicans can't repeal ObamaCare until they have all three branches of government.

"Finally, in 2016, that came to pass. Republicans now control all three branches of government," Paul wrote.

"And . . . the best that is offered is Obamacare-lite: keeping the Obamacare subsidies, keeping some of the Obamacare taxes, creating a giant insurance bailout superfund, and keeping most of the Obamacare regulations."

"Shame. Shame on many in the GOP for promising repeal and instead affirming, keeping, and, in some cases, expanding Obamacare. What a shame."

Senate Republican leaders are expected Thursday to reveal a new version of their healthcare legislation, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

The revised legislation will include concessions to centrists and conservatives in an effort to win 51 votes for passage.

Paul has also pushed for pursuing a full repeal of ObamaCare before doing a replacement, an idea also floated by President Trump.