Rand Paul Calls ‘Obamacare Lite’ ‘Likely Unconstitutional’ [VIDEO]

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter

GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has moved on from simply using “Obamacare Lite” to describe the GOP platform to repeal and replace Obamacare to calling it “likely unconstitutional.”

Paul takes issue with how the bill deals with the Obamacare Medicaid expansion program, the Obamacare taxes, and the individual mandate that all Americans have health insurance.

The platform has “built in to Medicaid” an annual 4 percent interest rate, Paul said Tuesday on Fox & Friends. “If you allow it all to grow at four percent, that’s untenable.” Medicaid already represents $1 out of every $6 spent on health care in the U.S., and is the third largest domestic program in the federal budget, Kaiser Family Foundation reports.

Paul then said there are other aspects of the GOP repeal platform that are concerning, namely that it “keeps the Obamacare taxes for a year, it keeps the Cadillac tax forever” and it “keeps the individual mandate.”

Instead of the Obamacare individual mandate, the GOP bill institutes a system of tax credits to encourage people to purchase insurance on the private marketplace. Obamacare imposes a 40 percent excise tax, called the “Cadillac tax,” on plans offered by employers that cost more than $10,200 a year for individuals and $27,500 for families. The GOP plan keeps this tax, but delays it until 2025. (RELATED: House Republicans Unveil Plan To Repeal Obamacare)

The senator questions the very legality of the platform itself. “The interesting thing is that the Obamacare Lite bill says that you will pay the penalty not to the government but to the insurance company. This is in all likelihood unconstitutional, and could destroy the whole repeal plan.”

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