People weren't "dying in the streets" for lack of insurance before there was Obamacare, and they won't be after it's repealed, Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday, agreeing with President-elect Donald Trump's comments concerning Obamacare.
"We had an imperfect system that needed to be improved on, but we had a system even before Obamacare where 85-90 percent of people were covered," the Kentucky Republican told Fox News "Fox & Friends" program, while explaining he wants to expand on that.
"I would think that the goal should be, as President-elect Trump said that everybody should be insured," said Paul. "That is the goal. I want everybody to be insured; the most people to be insured at the least amount of cost."
Obamacare, however, added mandates while deterring young, healthy people from buying insurance, said Paul, but he wants to do the opposite in order to lower costs and invite people to buy insurance.
"Basically, what Obamacare did was expand Medicaid," said Paul. "It also said, 'hey, guys, it will be for free. All of the states you can put all of the poor people on the rolls, but it won't cost you anything because the federal government is going to pay for it.'"
The federal government, though, has a $20 trillion debt, which means the nation's economy needs to be built up strong enough so there is only a small number of uninsured people, said Paul.
"If you have to provide to people with Medicaid, let's be honest about the accounting," the senator continued. "If states want to have more expansive Medicaid, they should probably raise taxes on their citizens to pay for it."
Paul said he plan would include ending insurance mandates and allowing people to buy their choice of insurance, which would drive down costs.
He also calls for allowing people to save money through health savings accounts, and to allow tax credits or deductions to encourage using them.
Also, Paul said individuals should be able to join together in groups to use their leverage to reduce costs, while getting insurance that won't be dropped.
"I've got my work ahead of me," said Paul. "I already have the ear of the president. Now what we have to do is get the ear of the leadership and the Senate and the House. I'm working on that, so I've got a lot of work between now and the next couple weeks. "
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