Rand Paul Rips Obamacare Lite: If You Want Medicaid For Everybody, At Least Be Honest About It

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Sen. Rand Paul made his argument against the Republican plan to 'repeal and replace' Obamacare on Morning Joe panel Wednesday morning. Paul called for a clean vote on repealing Obamacare itself and then a separate vote for the replace plan, which he called "Medicaid expansion."

"It is a conundrum and that's why we should vote on the one thing that we all agreed on," the Senator said. "About a year ago, we voted on clean repeal. We don’t agree on replacement but we could have a separate vote on Medicaid expansion."

Morning Joe regular Mike Barnicle asked Rand Paul if he believes President Trump is able to grasp and understand a law like Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act. Paul said, Trump understands it enough to know that he can not pass 'Obamacare lite' using conservatives. Paul said he said Republican leadership do not have the numbers to pass.

Paul noted how much money is going toward Medicaid and how the Republican repeal and replace plan is essentially an expansion of the program that provides health care for those will low incomes and limited resources. He asked his colleagues to at least be honest and admit that is the plan.

MARK HALPERIN, MSNBC SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Senator, I know you've got principled objections to this piece of legislation but so do some of your Senate colleagues like Rob Portman of Ohio, who thinks it cuts Medicaid too much.

So how do you expect the White House to try to solve that Rubik’s Cube of trying to win over your support while you've already got colleagues who think the bill goes too far?

PAUL: It is a conundrum and that's why we should vote on the one thing that we all agreed on. About a year ago, we voted on clean repeal. We don’t agree on replacement but we could have a separate vote on Medicaid expansion.

And I am guessing Democrats and big government Republicans would probably come together and find that they will expand Medicaid. Many conservatives aren't going to vote for that because mainly it doesn't work. We’re dishonest in the accounting.

We can’t pay for the current Medicare. It’s $35 trillion in the hole. The current Medicaid is unfunded.

And then we’re going to add new entitlement programs to that?

If you really want to have Medicaid for everyone in all these states, you should be honest with the people and you should double or triple the state income tax and double or triple the sales tax.

Now I’m not for that but that's what it would take if you were honest. Instead we say, oh, federal government’s going to pay for it. Federal government has no money. We borrow $1 million a minute. So it's just dishonest accounting.


President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday morning, "I feel sure that my friend @RandPaul will come along with the new and great health care program because he knows Obamacare is a disaster!"


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