Sen. Rand Paul Friday played down reports that he had angrily left a discussion on replacing Obamacare, saying that he'd actually been leaving to attend other meetings, not because he was fed up with the way the proceedings were going.
"You make it sound so dramatic, like there was a big dramatic huff," the Kentucky Republican told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program, about a Politico article describing his walkout. He pointed out that that "a couple dozen other people who had meetings" also got up and left before the proceedings were over.
"I had a gruff look on my face, but we didn't have disagreement," Paul said, even though he does disagree himself with the House's push for "Obamacare light" rather than complete repeal.
"We voted on complete repeal; we should have complete repeal," said Paul. "The other problem with partial repeal, if you repeal part of Obamacare, keep the feel good stuff, it actually gets worse. This is chance that you have insurance companies leading to bankruptcy.
"If you have partial repeal because you leave in place some of the perverse incentives for sick people to get insurance and healthy people not to get insurance."
Paul said he is a proponent of repealing and replacing Obamacare on the same day, and has put forth a replacement bill that "has the goal of providing insurance for everyone at a cheaper price."
The problem with Obamacare is that its proponents had "noble intentions but they ended up screwing up everything else and increased the price of everybody's insurance," said Paul.
"My bill would lower the price of everybody's insurance and let individuals buy it as a group or association."
Further, said Paul, there has been a replacement plan ready for years, and one of the parts of his own bill is from 2006.
"I think that is a little bit of overstatement saying 'oh, Republicans have no plan,'" said Paul. "That is one reason why I brought together a lot of consensus positions. Probably half of my bill is from previous bills from Congressman Tom Price.
"So these are popular bills, and I wanted to make sure everybody knew we did have a replacement but also make sure everybody knows that we do want to provide insurance for those who are struggling."
Meanwhile, Paul said his home state is excited about President Donald Trump's executive order overturning coal industry regulations for stream protection.
"This was an overzealous federal government regulation that would have cost 77,000 more jobs in the coal industry," said Paul. "We've already lost. We've lost over 10,000, maybe close to 20,000 coal jobs, just in Kentucky. This would have decimated us.
"This was a huge reprieve. I told my colleagues, this might have been the best thing we've done since I come to Washington is repealing this terrible regulation."
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