Sens. Susan Collins, Rand Paul express doubts about Senate health care bill

Sen. Rand Paul, one of the key Republicans senators in the ongoing health care battle, said on Sunday that his party has “promised too much” with trying to fix the health care system and assuring that the cost of premiums will be lowered.

“They’ve promised too much. They say they’re going to fix health care and premiums are going to down,” Paul said on ABC News’ “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” of his party’s health care plan unveiled Thursday. “There’s no way the Republican bill brings down premiums.”

As an ophthalmologist with 20 years of experience practicing medicine, Paul argued, “Premiums have never gone down. They’re not going to go down after the Republican bill.”

Paul added, “And it’s a false, sort of over-promising to say, ‘Oh, yes, insurance premiums are going to go down but we’re keeping 10 of the 12 mandates that caused the prices to go up.’ It’s a foolish notion to promise something you can’t provide.”

As one of five Republican senators that announced opposition to the bill in its current form, Paul said he would consider voting for partial repeal of Obamacare, if there’s a stalemate, but argued the Senate bill “isn’t anywhere close to repeal.”

“What we can do is if they cannot get 50 votes, if they get to impasse, I’ve been telling leadership for months now I’ll vote for a repeal,” Paul said. “And it doesn’t have to be 100 percent repeal. So, for example, I’m for 100 percent repeal, that’s what I want. But if you offer me 90 percent repeal, I’d probably would vote it. I might vote for 80 percent repeal.”

Paul also proposed whittling down the current version of the bill to areas where Republicans have agreement, and tackling contentious issues later down the road.

“If there’s dissent on Medicaid, why don’t we come back in six months and say, you know what, let’s work with Democrats,” Paul said. “I think there’s a bill that all 52 Republicans agree on if they keep narrowing the focus.”

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