(National Sentinel) Healthcare reform: Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is one of four conservatives in his chamber who has yet to commit to backing the GOP’s version of healthcare reform because, he says, it retains too many provisions of Obamacare, which is failing miserably across the country.
“I think the bill looks too much like Obamacare. It really doesn’t look like a repeal bill. It looks like we’re keeping Obamacare, it keeps probably 100 percent of the Obamacare subsidies,” Paul told Breitbart News.
“In fact, we have estimated that it may have more subsidies than Obamacare. It creates a new stabilization fund of over $100 billion. This fund is something that is not consistent with conservative philosophy because it’s the government giving money to insurance companies,” he added.
Worse, he said, “the bill keeps ten of twelve Obamacare regulations that causes the prices of premiums to spiral upward. So my fear is that Republicans in putting forward something and saying they’re repealing and replacing Obamacare and not making it better. It actually does not repeal and replacing Obamacare, it replaces it with more Obamacare or Obamacare-Lite, which doesn’t really fix the problem.”
Paul, along with Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, and Ted Cruz of Texas, are opposed to the bill in its current form.
What has to happen before they’ll support it? Paul explained:
The bill has to look more like a repeal bill. So we repealed some of the spending, repeal more of the subsidies, and we have to not have a mismatch. See, the bill does a pretty good job of repealing the taxes but it does not get rid of a lot of the spending. When you do that what you end up having is a problem with your debt, the bill will add a lot to the debt. It creates a new entitlement program that gives out over $100 billion to insurance companies, and that’s not why I joined the Republican party and not why I ran for office to vote for more entitlement programs.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he plans on holding a vote on the bill next week. Other Republican leaders have said the current legislation is just a blueprint, and that changes are likely to be made.
Paul also hit GOP leaders for their secrecy surrounding the drafting of the legislation.
“I would have preferred it to go through committee. I think the public is more accepting of things when there is more open debate, more witnesses on both sides, and it’s messier but at the same time what you get is a product that is more acceptable to a broader range of people,” he said.
Conservative groups are also lining up in opposition to the bill in its current form.
“Leader Mitch McConnell even said he would repeal Obamacare ‘root and branch.’ This bill, however, breaks those promises,” Adam Brandon, president of FreedomWorks, said in a statement, NBC News reported.