Paul calls new ObamaCare repeal bill a trillion-dollar boondoggle

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulHillicon Valley: Facebook reeling after NYT report | Dems want DOJ probe | HQ2 brings new scrutiny on Amazon | Judge upholds Russian troll farm indictments | Cyber moonshot panel unveils recommendations Overnight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — Border deployment 'peaked' at 5,800 troops | Trump sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | Senators offer bill to press Trump on Saudis | Paul effort to block Bahrain arms sale fails On The Money: Senior GOP senator warns Trump against shutdown | Treasury sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | HQ2 deal brings new scrutiny on Amazon | Senate confirms Bowman to Fed board MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday criticized a new Senate GOP ObamaCare repeal bill as a "government boondoggle of a trillion dollars."

He said Republican senators should back efforts that would allow people to buy insurance across state lines, and give up on the legislative effort.

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"This is what Republicans ought to get behind instead of a big government boondoggle of a trillion dollars of spending," Paul said to host Bill Hemmer on Fox News's "America's Newsroom."

The Kentucky senator is the only Republican to come out against the legislation backed by Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham: Trump’s new AG has ‘concerns’ about criminal justice bill Overnight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — Border deployment 'peaked' at 5,800 troops | Trump sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | Senators offer bill to press Trump on Saudis | Paul effort to block Bahrain arms sale fails Senators introduce Trump-backed criminal justice bill MORE (R-S.C.) and Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyDyslexia is more common than society realizes. Here’s what we can do to help children struggling in the shadows. Congress must protect eye care patients from frightful prescriptions Trump signs bills banning drug pricing 'gag clauses' MORE (R-La.), which would repeal much of ObamaCare and provide block grants to states to deal with healthcare funding.

Republicans need 50 votes in the Senate to pass the Graham-Cassidy bill, and appear to be gaining momentum.

Paul called the bill "petty" and said it would redistribute money from Democratic states to Republican ones.

"The Graham-Cassidy bill basically immortalizes ObamaCare ... all it does is reshuffle the proceeds from Democratic states," he said. "They keep the ObamaCare spending, but instead of keeping it for Democrat states, they send it to Republican states. That is why I call it petty."

Paul said he has been talking to President Trump about reinterpreting a 1974 law to allow people to buy insurance across state lines.

"What I would do — and what I've been talking to Trump about — is I think what we should do is allow people to buy across state lines through healthcare associations and actually I think the president will do this on his own within the next week or two," Paul said.

"I think this could help millions and millions of people get affordable insurance. And guess what? It is not a government program and doesn't cost any money," he added.

Paul said Trump could issue an interpretation to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to allow people to buy insurance across state lines.

"We believe that with an interpretation the Trump administration can allow everyone that works at McDonalds to buy their insurance all as one group across the country, even if they work at different companies, to it through something like the National Restaurant Association," he said.

"If 15 million people could get together to buy their insurance, they would get a cheaper price, they would get protection against preexisting conditions. I think they would get most of the things they want," Paul continued, arguing that the cost of this solution would be fixed by the marketplace.