Senator Rand Paul spoke to The Brian Kilmeade Show about why the decision by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell not to move forward with a vote to repeal Obamacare is a "victory for conservatives" which opens the door for a clean repeal of the ACA. Senator Paul also pushed back on the notion of democrats being willing to work with republicans to fix healthcare, saying zero democrats will vote to repeal one regulation of Obamacare.
Listen here for the full interview
(Kilmeade) Senator are you happy today?
(PAUL) I'm encouraged that it looks like we're going to move to clean repeal and that's what I've been advocating instead of big insurance company bailout what we ought to do is go to what we promised over four elections we ran in we said we'd appeal Obama care. In 2015 we voted on a clean repeal its not a full repeal but it's a clean repeal and I think the plan that were moving to that as our first vote is a good one.
(Kilmeade) Well the thing is there is no saying you guys are going to come up with a replacement that's going to be any more palatable for you and now maybe Democrats are going to have to be involved to come up with 60 votes.
(PAUL) Well I think what we need to do is what we promised and that is repeal Obama-Care. Obama-Care is a disaster, premiums have gone up over 100%, there's a death spiral, you've got monopolies with just one insurance company so it's a disaster and it needs to be repealed. The replace ought to be we replace it with freedom, competition, capitalism and really the ability to buy inexpensive insurance. We need to legalize the ability of people to join in an association to buy insurance. Most of the replacement doesn't involve big government spending. It should involve less government.
(Kilmeade) Is he wrong? (Referring to a clip where Ari Fleisher says what the senator is selling is false advertising)
(PAUL) It's not a full repeal/ I am an advocate of full repeal and I do think we can do more under the budget reconciliation rules. The problem is the longer we discussed this the more the big government wing of the Republican party added in spending proposal. So what we ended up with was 180 billion dollars to bail out insurance companies.
(Kilmeade) But those are tax credits so people can buy insurance...What do you want them to do?
(PAUL) What they are is subsidies for companies that make 15 Billion dollars in profit already. But what I would say is, the 2015 bill is not complete repeal there will still be a lot of the problems of Obama-Care left. I will continue to work to try and get rid of what's left with Obama-Care that's killing us but a good first step would be a clean repeal not muddied with a bunch of government subsidies and big government spending proposals.
(Kilmeade) Senator I know you are clear at what you thought and are better researched than most, however at some point you have to give into moderate beliefs whether it be Senator Portman or Senator Collins because you are part of a team. You have to collaborate with people it's not just you
(PAUL) The interesting thing that's what the 2015 bill is. Both of those senators voted for the 2015 bill. 51 out of the 52 voted for it in 2015 so what im giving into already is that it's a partial repeal not a complete repeal. Im for complete repeal.
(Kilmeade) You can't get one. You don't have enough votes. You can't get a complete repeal. I am compromising in the sense that I am for and will support the partial repeal that was put forward in 2015. So the bill that is now apparently going to come to the floor in all likelihood I will support. What we are going to find out is will the others in the caucus who voted for it two years ago will they now break their word will they keep their word to the American people that they were for repeal they voted for it and are they going to continue to vote for it. The real challenge isn't on the conservative side now it's on the other side will these people keep their word and will they vote consistent with the way they did previously.
(Kilmeade) Right now you have to find a way unless you want to be a part of the most unproductive congress ever, to deal with Susan Collins and the Senator Portman's of the world
(PAUL) I think we found a way Brian. The interesting thing is that today is a victory for conservatives. I mean conservatives now pushed towards a clean repeal and that's what's going to happen, the first vote is going to be on clean repeal.
(Kilmeade) But for 2 years? There is going to be no certainty for 2 years for hospitals, for doctors, for insurance companies, for people. They have to know what you are working on.
(PAUL) The thing is what we will be doing is freeing up the markets to s certain degree by getting some of the mandates but what we do need to do is we do need to go a step further and that is we need to repeal the Obamacare regulations and the problem with the previous bill is they weren't doing that. They were keeping the death spiral of Obamacare in the previous bill and they were going to subsidize the death spiral. That's not a fix, that's not republican, that's not conservative, that's not consistent with believing in the free market to say we are going to give a bunch of money to the insurance companies and say please lower your prices. The same thing can be done to car prices, you could have a new car stabilization fund, there is nothing republican about that. So if democrats want to argue for big government subsidies to you know, big insurance they can do that but that shouldn't be the republican position.
(Kilmeade) The last piece of major legislation had bi-partisan support that republicans were behind was welfare reform, you worked with a democratic president. Harold Ford was a part of that, he brought this up today, cut 13
(Harold Ford clip) "To get this done you gotta make this bipartisan, In fact you can start with Governors. Let them lay out what is working and what's not and let Democrats and Republicans alike react to that. I think you would find five to 10 Democrats that would come to work for republicans if there were genuine and sincere and serious about getting something done"
(Kilmeade) These people you see every day, you're working out or in the lunchroom, is he right?
(PAUL) On one thing he is absolutely wrong, there are zero democrats in Washington who will vote to cut any taxes, the Obamacare taxes, they will not vote to cut them and there is zero democrats who will vote to repeal one regulation of Obamacare. So the repeal of regulations and the repeal of taxes has to be done by republicans. That will not fix the insurance markets, the insurance markets are terribly broken from all the regulations. You may well have to try a bi-partisan approach but the fix to Obamacare is repealing more of the regulations, there won't be one democrat voting to repeal any regulation. The problem is the democrats are absolutely wrong that we should regulate and subsidize and have the government in charge of healthcare. We should try to have more capitalism, there really are not any democrats who believe in freedom, completion, choice or capitalism.
(Kilmeade) You have republican governors who were given the hardest time, do you also believe this is a spectacular failure for Mitch McConnell and his decision to sit a council of people to come up with a plan without including more people?
(PAUL) I think what you are finding is there are many more republican elected officials who have insufficient confidence in capitalism, they have insufficient confidence in what we have been running on for years and years. We ran on repealing Obamacare, we did not run on, hey guys we are for 180 billion dollars to subsidize insurance profits, we didn't run on that. We didn't run on that we are going to stick all kinds of money
(Kilmeade) But senator you know
(Kilmeade) If you like the bill more you would be fine with that because you know the reality is, you needed 50 votes. You only had 52
(PAUL) We voted 60 times to repeal Obamacare in the past, why don't we just do the same thing we did in the past. So that's what we are going to do, I think today is a good day for conservatives because conservatives are going to find out, they are going to wake up today and find out that the insurance subsidy bills has been defeated and we are going to get a chance to vote on a clean repeal, not a full repeal but at least a clean repeal without new government goodies in it.
(Kilmeade) Thanks Senator Paul