On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said “conservatives were elected to try stop the government takeover of healthcare,” and House Republicans should use their leverage in a government shutdown debate to try to make the Affordable Care Act less detrimental.
“I don’t think shutting down the government is a good idea,” Paul said.
Paul has led efforts to defund Obamacare, and he said earlier in the week that there was a “good chance” he would not vote for a continuing resolution to fund the government if it funded the healthcare law. Paul reminded viewers he has signed a pledge not to vote for a resolution that funds Obamacare. He said if the House passes a resolution to fund the government except for Obamacare, such legislation would not pass the Senate, and the House and Senate would have to hammer out their differences in conference.
When asked if Paul was trying to have it both ways on Obamacare, he said Republicans should use the desire not to shut down the government in order to get a compromise in conference that could “make the law less bad or delay the whole thing or the individual mandate.”
Paul said Obamacare is not going to be good for the American public and insurance premiums are going to rise, while the working class and the poor still will not have insurance and must pay new penalties for it.
He emphasized Republicans had “leverage” in the House and needed to use it instead of announcing defeat in advance, as President Barack Obama is conceding parts of the law need to be delayed, such as the implementation of the employer mandate.
Paul noted that Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) said the goal of Obama was ultimately to enact a single-payer system.
“If you are excited about going on Medicaid, you need to vote with Harry Reid and the President,” he said, asserting that instead of trying to fix healthcare for the 15 percent of Americans that did not have it, Obama and Democrats are destroying it for everyone.