Rand Paul Tells McConnell What Changes He Wants Made To Obamacare Repeal Bill

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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GOP Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul sent an outline of the changes he would like to see made to the Senate Republicans’ Obamacare repeal bill Tuesday, calling for the legislation to be made substantially more conservative.

Republicans in the upper chamber are attempting to revise their discussion draft, after multiple lawmakers criticized the rushed process that took place while crafting the bill and argued it didn’t do enough to lower premiums.

The Kentucky Republican made four suggestions in his letter to leadership, which came one day after they announced a vote to move on the measure would not come to the floor before their July 4 recess.

Paul railed against a provision requiring a mandatory six-month waiting period for those that have a lapse in coverage for more than 63 days, saying it too closely resembles the Obamacare mandates.

“This continues the top-down approach that has led to increased premiums and has not changed behavior of the young and healthy who are priced out of the market, and those who game the system to purchase insurance after they become sick,” he wrote. “I urge you to remove the mandate and simply allow insurance companies to impose a waiting period.”

Paul called for a change in the structure of the bill’s tax credits, noting Senate Republicans voted to eliminate the Obamacare premium tax credits in 2015.

He said he doesn’t think the legislation should include language providing bailouts for insurance companies, arguing the cost-sharing reductions and stability funds are unnecessary.

“In fact, insurance company profits were $8 billion per year in 2008, and have risen to $15 billion in 2015,” the letter reads. “The BCRA’s payment of Obamacare’s cost-sharing reductions, as well as its stability funds, would provide another $136 billion in funding to pay insurance companies to participate in these markets. I urge you to reconsider this insurance company bailout.”

Paul also said he would like to see the inclusion of language allowing individuals and small businesses to pool together to lower costs.

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