Rand Paul On Graham-Cassidy: I Don’t See How Republicans From New York Or California Vote For It

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul blasted the Graham-Cassidy health care reform bill Monday, questioning why members from expansion states would consider voting for legislation that significantly reduces funding to the areas they represent.

According to Paul, the bill — which aims at replacing Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies with block grants provided to the state — leaves 90 percent of Obamacare spending in place while “reshuffling” billions of dollars between states.

“You see the formula is just taken arbitrarily out of space to mostly to take money from Democratic states to give it to Republican states, but several of the states are taking from people who are trying to decide,” he told reporters. “Alaska I think gets less money, Ohio gets less money and so does Maine.”

Paul noted the legislation would have a particularly heavy impact on New York and California, which could prove to be problematic for House lawmakers on their decision on whether they should support the bill.

“If you are a Republican with a remnant of the Republican party in California — there’s 14 Republicans left in California in the House — can you vote for a bill that’s going to take billions and billions and billions?” he asked, adding it would reduce the expansion states’ funding by 8 percent over the course of six years. “I think it would be hard for a Republican from California or a Republican from New York to vote to take that much money and give it to other states.”

Paul said he’s heard talk of Republicans floating the idea of attempting to overturn Senate procedural rules, allowing them to pass a reconciliation bill without a full scoring from the Congressional Budget Office. According to the Kentucky Republican, if his colleagues are willing to override the rules, they should repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“I think the weird thing is going to be is if it comes forward and the parliamentarian rules say that it’s not an adequate score and they vote to overturn the parliamentarian, because to my mind, if you are going to overturn the parliamentarian — let’s just repeal Obamacare,” he said.

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