January 9, 2017

Sen. Rand Paul told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he will unveil his new health care bill to replace Obamacare "within two days" so Congress can vote on it at the same time as they try to repeal the ACA.

As the interview began, Sen. Paul sounded like a Trump surrogate and defended Donald's cabinet picks until Wolf Blitzer switched topics to health care.

A few days ago, news broke that Donald Trump made a phone call to Sen. Paul to support his efforts to have a healthcare replacement bill ready before they vote to repeal Obamacare.

Wolf Blitzer asked, "...there is a plan in place to replace it, and you said that Donald Trump is with you on that. Where exactly is he and where are you?"

Paul said, "I do think we should vote for a replacement on the same day.'

He continued, "I'm putting together a bill, it's virtually completed. It will be full of the consensus opinions on replacement. Basically we need to insure the most amount of people at the least of cost."

Sen. Paul then brought up his three-pronged plan which is nothing new or helpful.

Sen. Paul continued, "It'll involve three main areas for replacement. One, that we legalize the sale of 'inexpensive insurance' so everybody can buy it."

"We help people save so they can buy health savings accounts, and we help individuals to associate from groups of individuals to health association plans so they can spread their risk and get a cheaper product. If you put those three market reforms together as well as some tax changes, I think you can get something that virtually every Republican agrees to, but would also help soften the blow as we go from Obamacare to a more market orientated type of industry again."

Did you hear anything about covering preexisting conditions? Did you hear anything about Medicaid? Did you hear anything on _____?

Blitzer challenged the idea of having a bill to replace Obamacare with so quickly.

Wolf said, "Republicans leaders say, yes, you can quickly repeal it, but it could take six months, could take as much as a year to come up with this specific plan to replace it."

Sen. Paul disagreed with this assessment and claimed that there were already fifty Republican bills to replace Obamacare already floating out there. I'd like to get a list of those.

Rand said, "Congressman Tom Price who is up for a cabinet position. About half the bills are his. There are consensus on at least ten, 15 different bills in congress. I think consensus is there."

Tom Price's health care bills are a nightmare for the American people.

As Wired writes:

There are also clues in Price’s ACA replacement plan—the Empowering Patients First Act—which is the most detailed of all the Republican proposals to replace Obamacare (including Paul Ryan’s), and the least generous, especially to the sick, old, and poor. It would leave in place the basic structure of the insurance exchanges but replace the existing income-based subsidy system with age-based tax credits, making the individual market more advantageous for the young and healthy.

The plan also lets insurers charge sick people more if they lapse in coverage—up to 150 percent of the standard premium. It also would repeal the expansion of Medicaid, a program that provided more than 12 million low-income Americans with coverage, and replace it with nothing.

When Paul says there are fifty plans, what he means is Price is the go-to guy. But if his ideas were well thought of even by fellow Republicans, they would have been pushing his plans for months already.

And by the way, as TPM has discovered, Rep. Price doesn't mind funneling a ton of money to and defending his biggest donors in the medical field.

Wolf then asked if he needed Democratic votes to get the bill passed and Rand said, "yes," but thought some portions could be added during the arcane "reconciliation, budget rules."

My spider sense is tingling and I'm thinking he's slapping something together so that Democrats will vote against it and they can claim Dems killed your health care.

And then Rand Paul boasted and said his bill is almost ready to go, "It will be out within two days, within two days I'll have a bill. We will vote on both the same day."

Two days!

What Paul means by inexpensive insurance is some sort of catastrophic health care plan that covers almost nothing, with very high deductibles and exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses for people under thirty.

Health savings accounts are fine if you make a great salary, but for 98% of Americans, that is not a reality at all. And giving tax credits is useless also if you can't make the kind of salary that your boss does. That's why subsidies are needed for millions of American families and individuals.

Health association plans won't work unless you have huge membership pool.

I'm wondering if Sen. Paul is collaborating with Trump to unveil their new 'Donald Trump Health Care Association Plans?' Since Trump is the president, everything is legal, right?

You can sign up after they repeal the Affordable Care Act and get yourself a free Trump steak and "Make America Great," hat! Just don't die while you're waiting in line.

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