Rand Paul says can't support last-ditch GOP ObamaCare repeal

Rand Paul says can't support last-ditch GOP ObamaCare repeal
© Keren Carrion

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter Sunday Show Preview: Trump's allies and administration defend decision on Syria Ana Navarro clashes with Rand Paul in fiery exchange: 'Don't mansplain!' MORE (R-Ky.) said he can’t support the newest ObamaCare repeal plan a quartet of senators is pushing, highlighting the hurdles the legislation would need to overcome to pass the upper chamber.

Paul called the legislation “Obamacare Lite.”

GOP Sens. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyUN Security Council to meet after Turkey launches Syria offensive Trump faces growing GOP revolt on Syria To win the federal paid family leave debate, allow states to lead the way MORE (La.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham throws support behind Trump's Turkey sanctions Hillicon Valley: Warren takes on Facebook over political ads | Zuckerberg defends meetings with conservatives | Civil liberties groups sound alarm over online extremism bill Fury over Trump Syria decision grows MORE (S.C.), Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerThis week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary MORE (Nev.) and Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold Johnson10 top Republicans who continue to deny the undeniable GOP braces for impeachment brawl Bipartisan senators want federal plan for sharing more info on supply chain threats MORE (Wis.) released the legislation on Wednesday.

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The bill would move money for ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion, tax credits and cost-sharing reduction subsidies to block grants to the states. It would also repeal the individual and employer mandates and the medical device tax.

On Friday morning, Cassidy told reporters that he was “pretty confident we’ll get there on the Republican side. We’re probably at 48-49 [votes] and talking to two or three more.”

The bill would have to surmount some tough hurdles in order to pass the Senate. The fast-track vehicle the GOP was using to repeal ObamaCare, since it avoided a Democratic filibuster, expires at the end of the month.

Additionally, the legislation could only afford to lose two GOP votes — assuming Vice President Pence swoops in to break a tie — and Paul is already a hard no.

On Monday, Paul told reporters the proposal would “probably” be worse than doing nothing about the health law. Over the summer, Paul was critical of GOP leadership’s repeal-and-replace bill, advocating for a clean repeal of ObamaCare instead.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFury over Trump Syria decision grows Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Trump to slap sanctions on Turkey for Syria offensive | Trump calls on Turkey to broker ceasefire | Pelosi, Graham seek deal on sanctions | Ex-Trump aide testifies in impeachment probe Trump: Let Assad, Russia or China protect the Kurds MORE (R-Ky.) told Cassidy and Graham Tuesday they would need to find the votes on their own.

“I think Mitch would vote for it, but he said, ‘Go get 50 votes,’” Graham said. Fifty votes would allow Vice President Pence to cast a tie-breaking vote.

Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynGOP braces for impeachment brawl Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Judge blocks Trump 'public charge' rule | Appeals court skeptical of Trump arguments for Medicaid work requirements | CDC offers guidance for treating vaping-related cases GOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe MORE (R-Texas) is measuring support for the legislation.

"What I told Sen. Graham is we would work to try to get a sense of where people were ... so my hope is we'll get that preliminary information back in the next few days," Cornyn said Thursday, when asked about the vote counting.