Sen. Rand Paul said Thursday he believes conservatives are starting to coalesce around an Obamacare replacement bill he co-wrote with Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., but it's also time to make a move to "repeal the whole thing" when it comes to the current Affordable Care Act.
"People often call [lawmaking] a sausage making factory," the Kentucky Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "We have to start making some sausage. Let's repeal the whole thing. We won the election in 2010, 2014 and the White House in 2016 on complete repeal. We voted for complete repeal last year. Let's do it again. Let's replace it with something that will help people that need help."
Paul said he believes the bill he and Sanford are proposing could become a consensus bill, and conservatives are coalescing around the planned legislation.
"I think you would find little objection to any idea I have in my bill," said Paul, as at least half the ideas came from new Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, while he was still a congressman.
The bill does not have pre-existing coverage, however, as a federal guarantee.
"For [the first] two years, you can sign up for pre-existing or not," said Paul. "After that, if you want to have pre-insurance you have to keep [your plan]."
That's because the insurance model doesn't work if people are told they can get insurance after they become ill, said Paul.
"This is the fatal flaw of Obamacare," he said. "If you can get insurance after you are sick, you will. You won't get it when you are healthy."
That provision, said Paul, led to companies having problems like those experienced by companies like Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which lost $400 million in the Obamacare markets.
"That will get worse if you say people can still get insurance after they are sick," said Paul. "You have to fix that."
There will be no cost to enacting the plan, he continued, "unless you call reducing taxes a cost. There is no expenditure. It's not a federal government program. We let people keep more of their own money through tax deductions to save into their health savings account. If you call that a cost, yes."
In Washington, the common talk is that when one person's taxes are cut, another person's taxes go up, but "we don't accept that," said Paul. "If you cut taxes, make government smaller, send power and authority back to the states and the people, we are for smaller government. That's what it takes to be a conservative."
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