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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 PaulDem wins Kentucky state House seat in district Trump won by 49 points GOP's tax reform bait-and-switch will widen inequality Pentagon budget euphoria could be short-lived 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 CassidyTo lower prescription drug prices, fix existing drug discount programs Kimmel writer tweets amount NRA has given lawmakers in response to shooting prayers Overnight Regulation: Trump unveils budget | Sharp cuts proposed for EPA, HHS | Trump aims to speed environmental reviews | Officials propose repealing most of methane leak rule MORE (La.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCongress punts fight over Dreamers to March Pence tours Rio Grande between US and Mexico GOP looks for Plan B after failure of immigration measures 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 HatchOvernight Finance: NAFTA defenders dig in | Tech pushes Treasury to fight EU on taxes | AT&T faces setback in merger trial | Dems make new case against Trump tax law | Trump fuels fight over gas tax What sort of senator will Mitt Romney be? Not a backbencher, even day one Lawmaker interest in NAFTA intensifies amid Trump moves 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.”