Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) narrowly avoided tragedy this week after a gunman shot up a congressional baseball practice, leaving a colleague in critical condition and wounding several others. This tragedy has not stopped Paul from doing his job, and warning the American public about devastating changes to the healthcare bill.
“I think we shouldn’t have new entitlements that will go on forever in a Republican plan to fix healthcare,” Paul said to reporters today. “We can’t pay for what we already have: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.”
A revised version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed the House earlier this year but not without controversy. President Trump started a public fight against the House Freedom Caucus, and sided with House Majority Leader Paul Ryan (R-WI) to push a bill that essentially re-branded Obamacare. A compromise bill was eventually passed, but apparently Trump is lobbying the Senate for more government control.
Trump told Senate Republicans earlier this week that the AHCA version passed by the House was a “mean” bill that is not “generous, kind, [and] with heart.” This sappy rhetoric turned out to be little more than cheap euphemisms for more healthcare spending by government bureaucrats.
Trump finally cut the flowery talk and cut to the chase when he suggested to Senate Republicans that “adding additional money” to the bill might be a way to improve it.
“We’re keeping our promise to the American people,” Trump said on Tuesday.
Sen. Rand Paul disagrees with Trump’s assessment.
“What I’m telling [fellow Senators] is if they get to an impasse, come talk to me, because I’m more than willing to vote for a partial repeal if I can’t get complete repeal, but I’m not willing to vote for new Republican entitlement programs,” Paul said.
Paul will only need two fellow Republicans to join him in his effort to kill the Senate’s replacement for the AHCA. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has given an indication that he may join Paul while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has been silent thus far. Those two are the most likely men to vote down the bill alongside Paul, but the process is still underway and could change in a flash.