Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., vowed to keep up the fight against the Republican healthcare bill – which he said Sunday will not pass Congress because conservatives are "not for a gift for the insurance companies."
"Enough conservatives do not want Obamacare light," Paul told ABC's "This Week." "This is the biggest mistake of Republicans – not thinking about how this is going look. They call it repeal and replace. When it doesn't fix the problems . . . they're going to own it.
"I promise you in a year, the insurance markets will still be unraveling. They'll be begging for handouts."
Paul's conservative rebuke of the GOP's American Health Care Act (AHCA) centers on a complete repeal of Obamacare's mandates, and House Speaker Paul Ryan's, R-Wis., plan will lead to "bailouts" for insurance companies, Paul told host George Stephanopoulos.
"Conservatives don't want that," Paul said. "We're for empowering the consumer to drive prices down to get better cost insurance. We're not for when you get sick, the taxpayer takes over the tab for the insurance company. It's a terrible situation.
"You socialize the insurance company losses but privatize the billions they make. I'm not for a gift for the insurance companies."
Paul, the leading healthcare voice for conservatives in the Senate, fought Ryan's claim Republicans ran on his AHCA plan.
"The problem is, we, as conservatives, ran on repeal of Obamacare," Paul told Stephanopoulos.
"We never ran on replacement of Obamacare light: Of making the entitlement subsidies permanent, keeping the taxes, keeping the Medicaid expansion. They're flat-out false in telling us you ran on this plan. None of us did. We ran on repealing Obamacare because it doesn't work.
"They're going to repeal part of it and leave in place all of the stuff that causes your insurance rates to go through the roof."
Paul said he handed out President Trump's "Art of the Deal" last week to conservatives to prepare to "stop" the ACHA, as they need 21 votes in the House and "three or four" in the Senate.
"We need to learn from the master, and let's make sure that we increase our leverage by holding the line."
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