Sen. Rand Paul (R.-Ky.) has been on President Donald Trump’s radar for his refusal to vote for the Graham-Cassidy bill, referring to it as “Amnesty for Obamacare” and “Grahamnesty.” Big League Politics has obtained the asks that would get the Kentucky senator to a “yes” vote.
Big League Politics can also confirm multiple conversations between Senator paul, President Tump, and Vice President Mike Pence over the last 24 hours. Additionally, we can report that everyone involved in those talks is open to a deal and changes to the bill. The question that remains is if the authors of the bill and Senate leaders will be open to the changes.
“Senator Paul has said Graham/Cassidy spends too much, doesn’t fix enough regulations, and does not allow the market to help bring inexpensive insurance to millions more Americans. Through the changes in the bill he is proposing, as well as executive actions that could be taken today by the Trump administration, he believes these issues can be resolved,” Senator Paul’s Chief Strategist Doug Stafford told Big League Politics. “He is working with the White House currently to see if they can be addressed, speaking directly with President Trump and Vice President Pence multiple times in the past few days.”
Trump’s Tweets hint at Paul’s shift on Cassidy/Graham:
Rand Paul, or whoever votes against Hcare Bill, will forever (future political campaigns) be known as "the Republican who saved ObamaCare."
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 22, 2017
I know Rand Paul and I think he may find a way to get there for the good of the Party!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
Senator Paul’s asks, provided to Big League Politics, are as follows:
Obamacare Spending Reduction
“Graham/Cassidy keeps and redistributes/spends over a trillion dollars. My promise to the voters was to repeal Obamacare — not block grant and keep Obamacare.
If Obamacare were truly repealed, this entire trillion dollars would not be spent. This is the primary obstacle to my support, and only a significant reassessment of this trillion-dollar spending regime would get my support.”
“The default should be they are waived; states have to opt into ACA regulations.”
Health Association Plans
“These hold the promise of allowing millions of Americans to join an association and get group insurance across state lines. I have been working with the President on an executive expansion of the groups that are eligible to become a health association. The sooner we legalize nationwide health associations, the sooner we take pressure off of the failing individual insurance market.
Executive action to liberalize the groups that are eligible under ERISA.
Expansion of Association Health Plans passed in the House. We need committee time in the senate to debate and hopefully pass a legislative solution that expands the groups eligible for AHP’s even further.”
As BLP previously reported, Senator Paul, a career physician, has been a vocal opponent of Graham/Cassidy bill in favor of a full repeal. He has lead the fight against plans in both houses of Congress, referring to the proposals as “ObamaCare Lite” and demanding more significant changes.
“These have been plans that have spent nearly as much money as ObamaCare, that left most of the taxes and regulations in place, and basically failed to honor our promise of repeal,” the Kentucky senator wrote in an op-ed for Fox News.