Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday previewed his ObamaCare replacement plan — in an apparent effort to take the lead in the growing GOP effort to simultaneously repeal and replace the 2010 health care law.
Paul, who was a 2016 presidential candidate, said the bill that he and other congressional Republicans have crafted attempts to “insure the most amount of people, give access to the most amount of people, at the least amount of cost.”
Paul, a physician, has emerged in recent weeks as a leader in the repeal-replace effort, amid Republican concerns that fulfilling campaign vows to dismantle ObamaCare at the start of the 115th Congress could leave tens of millions of Americans uninsured.
Incoming Republican President Donald Trump has expressed similar concerns, despite campaigning on a winning repeal-replace agenda.
Paul tweeted on Jan. 6: “I just spoke to (Trump) and he fully supports my plan to replace ObamaCare the same day we repeal it. The time to act is now.”
The Republican-led Congress has already taken votes toward repealing ObamaCare under a process known as budget reconciliation, which effectively keeps Democrats from blocking the effort and requires only a simple majority for passage.
Among the other Senate Republicans trying slow the repeal process, to synch with a replacement plan, are Susan Collins, Maine; Bob Corker, Tennessee; Rob Portman, Ohio; and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Paul suggested Sunday that the replacement plan will include more low-cost insurance plans
“One of the key reforms that we will do is, we’re going to legalize the sale of inexpensive insurance,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “That means getting rid of the ObamaCare mandates on what you can buy.”
Paul last week announced some of the early details of the plan on Fox News’ “Special Report” with Bret Baier.
Paul said his plan borrows from previous GOP replacement plans and appears to have consensus among congressional Republicans.
“The ideas that we’ve taken for the replacement bill come from other Republicans’ bills,” he told Fox.
Paul said Sunday the plan also will include health saving accounts and tax credits to help customers save money.
He also suggested the plan will allow people and small businesses to create their own markets.
“There’s no reason why (a business owner) with four employees shouldn’t be able to join with hundreds and hundreds of other businesses that are small to become a large entity to get leverage to bring your prices down,” Paul said.
However, he acknowledged rolling back Medicaid expansion as part of the ObamaCare repeal remains a “big question.”
Many Americans got coverage under Medicare expansion in states.
On the issue of Rex Tillerson’s effort to become the next secretary of state, Paul said he’ll support the former ExxonMobil CEO’s bid.
“Yes, I will vote for Rex Tillerson,” said Paul, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee holding the confirmation hearings. “I was very impressed.”