Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul on Sunday predicted that the House GOP legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare is doomed.
Paul has been an outspoken critic of the House plan from the outset siding with the far right conservatives in Congress calling for a complete repeal.
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“I talked to the House Freedom Caucus leaderhip over the weekend. They still believe that they still believe that the conservatives in their caucus don’t want Obamacare Lite,” he said to George Stephanopolous on ABC’s ‘This Week.’
“I believe that the real negotiation begins when we stop them — you have to stop them — conservatives will only have a seat at the table if we have 21 votes in the House or three or four in the Senate. At that point there’ll become a real negotiation,” he added.
Responding to Stephanopolous’s question on whether Paul believed that the legislation was going to pass, the Senator said, “I don’t believe so. I think there’s enough conservatives that do not want ‘Obamacare Lite.'”
“None of us ran on this plan. We ran on repealing Obamacare because it doesn’t work,” the Kentucky Republican said. He also reiterated his promise earlier this month to vote against the measure if it ever reaches the Senate.
“I was elected in 2010 right after it came into place, to repeal it,” he said of President Obama’s signature healthcare law, which is officially named the ‘Affordable Healthcare Act.’
The conservative wing of the GOP in both houses of Congress has roundly criticized the measure which is being backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump because it keeps certain portions of the Affordable Care Act in place.
“We never ran on making the entitlement subsidies permanent,” Paul said.
Proponents of the GOP proposal, including Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who would be in charge of implementing the measure, have been against a clean repeal because it would cause even greater damage to those most in need of healthcare.