Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said Tuesday he has not given up on Congress repealing Obamacare, but he is also trying to get President Donald Trump to use his executive power to permit associations and organizations — ranging from AARP to Costco — to offer group health insurance plans.
In an interview on Newsmax TV's "The Joe Pags Show," Paul believes executive action could address problems with the healthcare system while Congress continues its push for reform.
"The [Obamacare] death spiral will continue, more and more people will have fewer choices, and insurance will continue to cost more," Paul predicted. "But I can tell you on the positive side, I talked to the president [Monday], and we are working on . . . trying to legalize if you join an association."
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Paul said 85 million people are members of Costco, and 33 million belong to AARP, while the National Rifle Association, Chamber of Commerce, and Sam's Club also have huge memberships.
"All of these associations — what if they can sell insurance across state lines and negotiate the price down?" he asked. "I think we have enormous potential here, and I think the president can actually do this without congressional action, so we're encouraging the president. He's very sympathetic and open-minded to this.
"He could literally allow 100 million people to begin buying their insurance as a group outside of the individual marketplace, which is where the disaster is," he added.
Yet Paul said he has not given up on repealing Obamacare through legislation.
"We're going to keep trying," he vowed. "I'm trying to get the president to act right now, but we will also revisit this thing throughout the next six months and as Obamacare dies a slow ugly death. . . . Democrats are going to have to wake up . . . and vote to repeal it, because the only way to get to a solution is you got to first repeal it."
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