As the likely deadline for a Republican repeal of Obamacare quickly approaches, GOP senators are attempting a Hail Mary repeal effort — but fundamental health care disputes between Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and President Donald Trump may hurt the bill’s chance of success.
In a tweet this morning, Trump referred to Paul as a “negative force” in the repeal effort, while the libertarian-leaning senator responded to the president today by saying “I promised repeal” — adding that he does not consider the latest Graham-Cassidy Obamacare replacement effort to be a legitimate repeal.
Rand Paul is a friend of mine but he is such a negative force when it comes to fixing healthcare. Graham-Cassidy Bill is GREAT! Ends Ocare!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2017
Additionally, Paul directly responded to Trump calling him a “negative force” by saying that he’s actually “a very positive force” who is working with Trump to come up with new ideas on repealing the Affordable Care Act.
Paul elaborated on his concerns over the Graham-Cassidy Bill while appearing on CNN’s Wolf with Wolf Blitzer:
“We think the administration is going to, in the next week or two, issue a ruling saying that, guess what, individuals are going to be able to buy [insurance] across state lines. We think they can do it without any bill or legislation from Congress. And here’s the thing––my proposal that I’m working on the president with costs zero dollars, the Cassidy-Graham bill is going to spend a trillion dollars. It keeps the Obamacare spending, but just reshuffles who gets it. That to my mind is not what I promised voters. I promised repeal, I didn’t promise I would keep most of it and just reshuffle who gets the proceeds.”
After months of build up, GOP senators failed to repeal Obamacare in July — which, in a number of campaign rallies and tweets, Trump has continually jabbed them over. As the summer ends, Republicans have controlled both houses of congress and the White House for nearly nine months, yet have not passed any major legislation.
The Graham-Cassidy effort is a opportunity for them to do just that — but with concerns from senators Paul, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and John McCain, their chances of success appear to be slim.
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
Editor note – This story has been updated to accurately reflect which CNN show Paul’s comments appeared on.
[image via screengrab]
Follow Caleb Ecarma on Twitter.
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