Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) doesn't believe the Senate will repeal Obamacare and pass a health care replacement bill anytime soon. Paul offered the sobering update over the weekend during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday."
When asked if he believes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has enough votes to pass an Obamacare replacement, Paul said he doesn't believe McConnell does.
"You know, I don't think right now he does," Paul said.
"The real problem we have is that we won four elections on repealing Obamacare but [the Senate GOP's replacement bill] keeps most of Obamacare taxes, keeps most of the regulations, keeps most of the subsidies and creates something that Republicans have never been for and that's a giant insurance bailout superfund," Paul explained. "That's not a Republican idea to give taxpayer money to a private industry that already makes $15 billion in profit."
When asked by show host Chris Wallace what course of action Republicans should take should they fail to pass health care reform, Paul suggested they repeal Obamacare and its taxes, regulations and mandates then worry about passing a replacement bill later.
"What I've suggested to the president...if this comes to an impasse, I think if the president jumps into the fray and says 'Look guys, you promised to repeal it, let's just repeal what we can agree to,'" Paul explained. "And then we can continue to try to fix, replace or whatever has to happen afterwards."
"But the one thing we should do is try to repeal as many of the taxes, as many of the regulations and as many of the mandates as we possibly can," Paul emphasized, noting that he's optimistic for compromise to come to Senate Republicans.
Paul explained that he can't currently support the Senate's health care bill because it keeps the heart of Obamacare alive, which Paul called the bill's "fundamental flaw."
"Mandates on insurance cause prices to rise and young, healthy people then say 'Ill wait until I get sick [to buy insurance].' And then the insurance pool gets sicker and sicker — it's called adverse selection, we also call it the 'death spiral,'" Paul said. "The Republican plan admits that it will continue."
"The Republican plan doesn't fix the death spiral of Obamacare, it simply subsidizes it," Paul explained.
McConnell over the weekend announced that any vote on a health care replacement would be postponed until Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) returns to Washington. McCain is recovering at home in Arizona after undergoing surgery on Friday for a blood clot above his left eye.