Rand Paul: Republican Health Care Bill ‘Keeps the Fundamental Flaw of Obamacare’

By Susan Jones | July 17, 2017 | 5:51am EDT
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) explains why he will vote no on a Republican health care bill that keeps the "fundamental flaw" of Obamacare. (Screen grab from CBS's "Face the Nation" on July 16, 2017.)

(CNSNews.com) – The more time conservatives have to consider the Republican health care bill, the less they will like it, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said on Sunday.

He spoke after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate will delay a vote on the bill, until Sen. John McCain recovers from surgery to remove a blood clot above his left eye.

McConnell needs McCain’s “yes” vote if the bill is to have any chance of passing.

Sen. Paul said he’s a firm “no.”

You know, I think the longer the bill is out there, the more conservative Republicans are going to discover that it's not repeal, and the more that everybody is going to discover that it keeps the fundamental flaw of Obamacare.

It keeps the insurance mandates that cause the prices to rise, which chase young, healthy people out of the marketplace, and leads to what people call adverse selection, where you have a sicker and sicker insurance pool, and the premiums keep rising through the roof.

And one of the amazing things to me is, for all the complaints of Republicans about Obamacare, we keep that fundamental flaw. And the reason you know Republicans acknowledge this is, they make a giant insurance fund to subsidize those prices.

Basically, they're subsidizing the death spiral of Obamacare. So, for all Republicans' complaints about the death spiral of Obamacare, they don't fix it. They simply subsidize it with taxpayer moneys, which I just don't agree with at all.

Paul, a longtime advocate of outright repeal, objects to provisions in the Republican bill that send taxpayer month to insurance companies: “I’m not for any taxpayer money going to … an industry that makes $15 billion a year,” Paul said on Sunday.

“I think it's absolutely wrong. It's not all consistent with conservative principles, free market principles, or being a Republican.

“And it also has nothing to do with repeal. I mean, we promised the voters for four elections. They elected us to repeal Obamacare, and now we're going to keep most of the taxes, keep the regs (regulations), keep the subsidies, and create a giant bailout superfund for the insurance companies. I just don't see it.”

Most people get health insurance from their jobs.

But, as Paul said on Sunday:

If you’re a plumber and your wife gets breast cancer, and you're an insurance pool of two, it's a terrible place to be. I have great sympathy for people who get sick when it's just them and their spouse or their family.

I would let everyone in the individual market join a group plan. How would I do that? I would let group plans be formed by anybody who wants to form them, Chamber of Commerce, farm bureau, credit unions. You name it, I would let anybody form an association.

And what would happen is almost everybody would flee the individual market because it's a terrible place. But you know what would also happen? They would be -- the risk would be taken care (of) out of the profit of the insurance companies, because everybody would be in a group plan.

Right now, the insurance companies have gamed the system, such that they get enormous profit from the group plans, and then they lose money in the individual markets and they whine, and they come to Washington, they write the bill, and they get bailed out. It's a terrible situation.

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