Senate Republicans remain at an impasse over the bill to replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law, but it’s too early to call the GOP proposal dead, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said Monday.
Paul, R-Bowling Green, told reporters that he spoke to President Trump over the weekend, marking the third or fourth time they have talked about health care in the past three or four weeks.
He said Trump “wants what I want, which is a conservative vision of health care which involves repealing Obamacare. I still think the bill doesn’t repeal Obamacare.”
Paul’s comments came after a roundtable discussion with 16 people at the Shelby County Farm Bureau office. The talk focused only on health care.
Paul, one of several Republicans in the Senate withholding their support from a bill championed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said the Senate Republican plan is “a big insurance company bailout” that will pay $180 billion to insurance companies that make $15 billion a year in profits.
In a Twitter post Monday, Trump urged Senators to approve a health bill, as lawmakers return to Washington after the Fourth of July recess.
“I cannot imagine that Congress would dare to leave Washington without a beautiful new health care bill fully approved and ready to go,” Trump said.
McConnell, R-Louisville, has struggled to find enough Senate votes for the bill. U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said over the weekend that the measure is “probably going to be dead” and that Republicans should work with Democrats to pass a bill.
Paul said the Senate might do better with two separate bills: one to repeal Obamacare and another that might involve more government spending, “and then take it to the Democrats.”
Paul dismissed a call from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., who spoke Sunday night in Covington, to create a Medicare-style single-payer system of health care for the nation.
“How will you pay for it?” Paul asked. “It’s very naïve and dangerous, and I hope no one listens to him.”