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Sen. Rand Paul: Obamacare death spiral could get worse under GOP health care bill

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is voicing strong opposition to the new GOP Obamacare replacement plan, saying that in its current form the bill will complete its "death spiral" faster than the original form of Obamacare. (Getty Images)

Republican Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) declared Monday that, in its current form, the GOP health care bill will only worsen the inevitable crash Obamacare is heading toward.

During an interview with CNN's Ana Cabrera, Paul disparaged the Senate Republican leadership's Obamacare repeal and replace bill for allowing people to purchase health care after they get sick, not before. Paul also noted that young people are going to be charged more due to increased regulations on what the policies will be required to cover.

"When you mandate what you have to cover, you increase the price, you price out the young healthy people," Paul said, "and the only people left in the insurance market get sicker and sicker. It's what they call adverse selection."

Paul called this the "death spiral of Obamacare."

"My problem with the Senate bill as it currently exists is that we don't fix that," Paul said. " We keep 10 of 12 of the Obamacare regulations, we still keep the idea that you can buy it after you get sick, so I'm concerned that the death spiral of Obamacare may well even get worse with the Republican version."

The senator also pointed out that the GOP Senate bill keeps most of the Obamacare subsidies and even adds a new subsidy of $120 billion for insurance companies called a "stabilization fund," a four-year reinsurance program to combat inevitable rising premiums.

"All of these things together make me very concerned that we're not going to fix the problem here," said Paul.

Paul lamented that people with "big hearts" want insurance companies to "cover everything," but that the end result is poor people being priced out of insurance plans that cover things they don't need. Paul suggested that we convert to a system that allows group insurance plans to take place, which will allow individuals to gather together under an insurance pool in the free market.

Paul used AARP as an example, stating that it covers some 33 million people and that insurance companies would compete for an insurance pool like that and couldn't afford to turn a group like that down.

The Kentucky senator suggested in the meantime that the GOP should work to repeal most of the Obamacare regulations, not just some, and focus on improving the U.S. medical system in a bipartisan way over the next six months.

Paul was one of four senators who first opposed the GOP Obamacare replacement plan when it was first revealed, including Mike Lee (Utah), Ron Johnson (Wis.), and Ted Cruz (Texas). They have since been joined by Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who on Saturday told reporters that the current GOP bill is "simply not the answer."

The senators have stated that while they cannot support the current version of the bill, they are willing to negotiate improvements to it that would make it more suitable to support.

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