On this week's edition of 'This Week With George Stephanopoulos,' Sen. Rand Paul
SEN. RAND PAUL: The problem is, see, we as conservatives ran on repeal of Obamacare. I was elected in 2010, right after it came into place, to repeal it. We never ran on a replacement of Obamacare Lite. We never ran on making the entitlement subsidies permanent. We never ran on an individual mandate or keeping the taxes or keeping the Medicaid expansion. We didn't run on that, and so they're really flat-out false in telling us, oh, you guys ran on this plan. None of us ran on this plan. We ran on repealing Obamacare because it doesn't work.
They're going to repeal part of it and leave in place all of the stuff that causes your insurance rates to go through the roof. So we have a plan, a replacement plan that we'd like to talk about at the same time, that instead of subsidizing people's health care, actually forces prices down, forces the insurance companies to come to the table.
Under my plan, 37 million people who belong to AARP would be able to negotiate and buy a group policy of insurance. And that would drive prices down, particularly for people leading right up to retirement but on into the retirement years. It's the only thing that would work to bring prices down. And we're not talking about at all. That's a huge mistake by the Republican Party.
Now we're in a bidding war with Democrats over, well, we're going to offer half as much federal subsidies as the Democrats. We're never going to win that bidding war. It's a huge mistake. It's a public relations nightmare. They should scrap it all. Start over. And let's have a real meaningful debate about how to fix it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Have you convinced enough conservatives in the House to vote no?
PAUL: I talked to the House Freedom Caucus leadership over the weekend. They still believe that the conservatives in their caucus don't want Obamacare Lite. I believe that the real negotiation begins when we stop them. You have to stop them. Conservatives will only have a seat at the table if we have 21 votes in the House, or three or four in the Senate. At that point, they'll become a real negotiation. That's why I passed out to them all "The Art Of The Deal" last week. Because we need to -- learn from the master and let's make sure that we increase our leverage by holding the line.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you don't think it's going to pass?
PAUL: I don't believe so. I think there's enough conservative that don't want Obamacare Lite. And I think that they do not fix the problem.
And here's the thing, and this is the biggest political mistake of Republicans who are not even thinking about how this is going look. They call it repeal and replace. But when it doesn't fix the problems and you say you've fixed the problems, they're going to own it. And I promise you, in a year, the insurance markets will still be unraveling. The insurance will be still be begging for more handouts. They have in the House plan bailouts for insurance companies. Conservatives are not for bailing out the insurance companies. We're for empowering the consumer to drive prices down so you can get better cost insurance. But we're not for, when you get sick, the taxpayer takes over the tab for the insurance company. It's a terrible situation. What you do is you socialize the insurance company losses but you privatize the billions of dollars that they make. I'm not for giving a gift to the insurance companies, and that's what this House plan does.