Cruz, Lee, Paul demand 'full repeal' of ObamaCare

Cruz, Lee, Paul demand 'full repeal' of ObamaCare
© Greg Nash

Three GOP senators are adding an extra hurdle to the looming fight over nixing the Affordable Care Act, arguing they want a "full repeal" of ObamaCare. 

Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulMichael Steele: Congress must lead on cannabis reform and stand with the American public Lawmakers renew call for end to 'black budget' secrecy McCain asks Trump's CIA pick to explain ties to torture MORE (Ky.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzLesson from special election: Run on Social Security, Medicare and lower drug prices Conservatives balk over funding bill ahead of shutdown  Confirmation fight over Trump pick exposes blurred lines in GOP-LGBT activism MORE (Texas) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeConservatives balk over funding bill ahead of shutdown  Overnight Defense: Senate sides with Trump on military role in Yemen | Dem vets push for new war authorization on Iraq anniversary | General says time isn't 'right' for space corps Senate sides with Trump on providing Saudi military support MORE (Utah) each pointed to the Senate's 2015 repeal bill as the "bare minimum" for the 2017 repeal legislation.

"2 yrs ago, the GOP Congress voted to repeal Obamacare. That 2015 repeal language should be the floor, the bare minimum," they each tweeted, along with the hashtag "FullRepeal."



The tweets come after the conservative House Freedom Caucus voted to oppose an ObamaCare repeal bill if it does not go as far as the repeal measure that passed in 2015.

Conservatives have been pushing for the 2015 repeal bill, which kills the core elements of the law including its subsidies, taxes, mandates and Medicaid expansion, to be brought up again. 
Paul — who has warned about only partially repealing the Affordable Care Act — went further, adding on Twitter that GOP lawmakers shouldn't settle for "ObamaCare lite."
Their tweets come after a draft House GOP plan was leaked late last week. 
The bill would dismantle core aspects of the healthcare law and replace them with a system centered on a new tax credit. If three GOP senators were to vote against the bill it would effectively sink it's chances of clearing through Congress. 
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) appeared to take a shot at the plan on Twitter, noting that without "substantial" changes he couldn't support it. 

"There is nothing conservative about a plan that ultimately amounts to a new entitlement program and a new tax increase," he said.

The leaked document would eliminate subsidies for people to obtain coverage and also phase out federal funds for states to expand Medicaid in 2020. It also includes a tax credit ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 that would increase based on a person's age to help recipients afford insurance. 

Meadows joined in on the Senate tweet storm, noting he supports Cruz, Lee and Paul.

"Every tax, every mandate, every regulation of #Obamacare needs to go," the Freedom Caucus chairman tweeted.



If Cruz, Lee and Paul refuse to vote for anything short of the 2015 bill, that could add a fatal hurdle to passing ObamaCare repeal, as Republicans can only afford to lose two senators to get the legislation through the Senate.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerFox News host Watters says spending bill was 'huge defeat' for Trump Amtrak to rename Rochester station after Louise Slaughter Conscience protections for health-care providers should be standard MORE (D-N.Y.) predicted earlier on Monday that Republicans could fail to repeal ObamaCare because of divisions on defunding Planned Parenthood and Medicaid expansion. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellYou just can't keep good health policy down Trump threatens to veto omnibus over lack of wall funding, DACA fix Democrats desperate for a win hail spending bill MORE (R-Ky.) predicted that the Senate's repeal effort would be similar to the 2015 bill.