Politics & Government

Rand Paul only Republican to vote ‘no’ as Senate takes first step to repeal Obamacare

Herald-Leader Staff Report

When the U.S. Senate took the first step toward repealing Obamacare early Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was the only Republican to vote “no.”

“As a physician, I cannot wait to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a health care system that relies on freedom to provide quality, comprehensive, and affordable care,” Paul said in a statement. “But putting nearly $10 trillion more in debt on the American people’s backs through a budget that never balances is not the way to get there. It is the exact opposite of the change Republicans promised, and I cannot support it, even as a placeholder.

“Kentucky sent me to the Senate to put an end to the out-of-control spending. Unfortunately, this new Congress has chosen to continue the status quo. Not only are we not cutting spending, but we are also proposing an increase at an exponential pace. There is no reason we cannot repeal Obamacare and pass a balanced budget at the same time.”

By an otherwise party-line 51-48 vote early Thursday, the GOP-run Senate approved a budget that eases the way for action on subsequent repeal legislation as soon as next month, the Associated Press reported.

The Republican-controlled House planned to complete the budget on Friday.

“We must act quickly to bring relief to the American people,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Paul’s proposed plan for replacing the federal health law includes many of the “best ideas” in other Republican plans but avoids “many of the pitfalls” that make those plans unworkable, reports National Review.