Paul: Cassidy-Graham health care bill not 'going anywhere'

Paul: Cassidy-Graham health care bill not 'going anywhere'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Lawmakers grapple with warrantless wiretapping program MORE (R-Ky.) said Monday that he opposes a new Republican ObamaCare replacement effort, saying it does not go far enough to repeal the law.

Paul told reporters that the bill from GOP Sens. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyTop Louisiana health official rips Cassidy over ObamaCare repeal bill Senate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Finance to hold hearing on ObamaCare repeal bill MORE (La.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTop Louisiana health official rips Cassidy over ObamaCare repeal bill Senate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions MORE (S.C.) would “probably” be worse than doing nothing at all on the health law.

The measure already faced extremely long odds to pass before a procedural deadline of Sept. 30. Republican leadership has shown no interest in the measure, though the White House is pushing for it.

Paul said he objects that the bill would leave many of ObamaCare’s taxes and regulations in place.

“I don't think it's going anywhere,” he said. “I haven't heard anybody talking about it.”

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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchFinance to hold hearing on ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea Week ahead in finance: Clock ticking for GOP on tax reform MORE (R-Utah) responded simply “no” on Monday when asked if he thought the bill would get a vote on the Senate floor. He said he did not think there is enough support for it.

Cassidy and Graham, though, are still pushing, and plan to unveil the bill on Wednesday. Cassidy said Monday that his office has already been talking with the Congressional Budget Office on the measure, even as the final language comes together.

Separately, Paul also said he opposed a bipartisan ObamaCare stabilization bill the Senate Health Committee is negotiating.

The measure is expected to fund key ObamaCare payments known as cost-sharing reductions, which Paul opposes. He said it would be “Republicans now providing the funding for ObamaCare.”

He said that even though he opposes the effort, he thinks other senators could reach a deal. If that happened, he said he would try to attach his bill making it easier for organizations to band together to buy health insurance in what are known as association health plans.

“Some people are pessimistic that there will be a bill, that there won't be an agreement,” Paul said. “I actually think there's probably a pretty good chance they are but it's going to be funding ObamaCare, which I'm not for.”