Sen. Rand Paul Wednesday continued his opposition to the healthcare bill proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., stating that their proposal is "barely Obamacare lite."
"As a physician, I have seen Obamacare up close and personal and I hate every bit of it," the Kentucky Republican told Fox News' "Fox and Friends" program. "I promised the voters repeal, but this bill actually keeps the Obamacare spending and just redistributes it among the states. It's a $1.2 trillion federal grant program and that's just not repeal."
Paul insisted that he did not promise his constituents he'd vote to keep a "trillion-dollar spending program, and we just shuffle the money among the states."
"This is not repeal," Paul said. "It's not, it's barely Obamacare lite. It keeps Obamacare. It's not what we promised."
The plan also is not better than Obamacare, he insisted, as it keeps the Affordable Care Act alive.
"When this bill comes up next week, I will once again offer a real repeal," Ryan said. "There will be a choice; there will be real repeal. I'm working on another tack. I'm working with President [Donald] Trump on healthcare associations, which can be done with no federal money, no federal taxes, no Obamacare taxes."
Trump, however, Wednesday morning praised the Graham-Cassidy bill on Twitter, and chastised Paul as being a "negative force" when it comes to fixing healthcare.
Trump's criticism about Paul came after the senator wrote an opinion piece stating that he opposes the bill. The Kentucky lawmaker also has appeared on several news programs in recent days to criticize the proposed legislation.
Paul said Wednesday that under his plan, people would be able to buy insurance across state lines, and join groups so they can purchase group insurance, protecting them against pre-existing conditions, at a "great price."
"This is going to be done, hopefully, by the president, by re-examining the existing law," Paul said. "This is something that is big, I think could be bigger than the Graham-Cassidy bill but doesn't cost a trillion dollars. It's just not a conservative notion to vote for a trillion-dollar federal grant program."
With Paul voting against the bill, it will only take a few other Republicans to derail the plan, and the Kentucky senator said there has been other objections from other parts of the caucus.
"The media has reported Senators [Susan] Collins and [Lisa] Murkowski," Paul said. "I can't speak for them. They have to speak for themselves. There are a number of people wary of this. They are holding their nose to vote for this thing. This is not repeal. This is not what we promised."
Further, said Paul, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who is co-sponsoring the bill with Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, "has been known to be wrong and not very conservative on a number of issues," Paul said. "You can ask him how federalism is having a trillion-dollar tax program at the federal level and passing it out. That's not federalism. That's not consistent with the 10th Amendment."
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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