Rand Paul pitches ObamaCare repeal wish list
© Greg Nash

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring Anti-Asian hate crimes bill overcomes first Senate hurdle Fauci on Tucker Carlson vaccine comments: 'Typical crazy conspiracy theory' MORE (R-Ky.) is pitching changes to the Senate's ObamaCare replacement bill after Republicans delayed a vote until after the July 4 recess. 

Paul sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump looms over Senate's anti-Asian hate crimes battle Appointing a credible, non-partisan Jan. 6 commission should not be difficult Why President Biden is all-in in infrastructure MORE (R-Ky.) outlining his "policy priorities" for the legislation, which he opposes as presently written.

The Kentucky Republican is requesting that McConnell drop a provision added earlier this week that would require individuals who miss an insurance payment to wait six months before being able to sign back up for insurance. 


The provision was intended to make up for the fact that the legislation does away with ObamaCare's insurance mandate. Known as a "continuous coverage" requirement, it is meant to serve as an incentive for younger and healthier people to keep their insurance, but Paul argued that it "appears to be a Republican version of the [ObamaCare] individual mandate." 

"I urge you to remove the mandate and simply allow insurance companies to impose a waiting period," he wrote. 

Paul also wants more of ObamaCare's taxes repealed and for individuals and small businesses to have greater flexibility in purchasing insurance.

Finally, he takes aim at "stability funds" included in the Senate bill and the decision to keep making ObamaCare's cost-sharing reduction payments, which are intended to help insurers provide coverage to low-income people. 

The provisions "would provide another $136 billion in funding to pay insurance companies to participate in these markets. I urge you to reconsider this insurance company bailout," he wrote. 

Paul is one of four conservative senators who announced late last week that they would oppose the bill and he has long been seen as a difficult vote to win over.

He has criticized Senate GOP leadership, who he has suggested haven't reached out to him. 

He tweeted after one-on-one meeting with President Trump on Tuesday that he "just came from WH. [Trump] is open to making bill better. Is Senate leadership?" 

GOP leadership could technically pass a bill without Paul. They have 52 seats and need 50 senators to support the bill, which would allow Vice President Pence to break the tie. 

But the GOP also faces opposition from centrists who have demands that run counter to Paul's. 

McConnell announced on Tuesday that he was delaying a vote on the healthcare bill, which had been expected this week, amid stiff pushback from his caucus. 

Nine Republicans, including Paul, currently oppose the legislation, according to The Hill's whip list.