Senate prepares to rush ACA replacement plan, Paul says process should be transparent

06/19/2017 04:49 PM

SHEPHERDSVILLE — Republicans in the U.S. Senate are working on a replacement to the Affordable Care Act, but the bill is not expected to take the normal process of open committee hearings before it reaches a floor vote.

Multiple outlets are reporting that the Senate will vote soon, much to the frustrations of Democrats and some Republicans, including Kentucky’s junior U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.

“I’m not a huge fan of the way it’s unfolding,” Paul said, speaking to reporters in Kentucky about the process.

Paul, R-Kentucky, also said he had concerns that the Senate GOP replacement plan would not solve problems with the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Washington news outlet The Hill The hill reports that under the Senate version of the bill the expansion of Medicaid will be phased out, but that there’s a dispute between some members on the time frame to roll back the expansion.

In Kentucky the Medicaid expansion put in place by former Gov. Steve Beshear has dropped the uninsured rate dramatically. In 2013 the rate was 19 percent uninsured that fell to under 7 percent by 2015.

Spectrum News asked Paul about the plan to phase out expanded Medicaid, and he said essentially the government can’t afford current entitlements, much less expanded care.

“What I would say to the people of Kentucky is if everybody wants Medicaid expansion let’s have a vote, and right now our top income tax is 6 percent let’s double everybody’s income tax and then double everybody’s sales tax and then everybody can have expanded Medicaid,” Paul said — though he warned that might destroy business and the state economy.

The House GOP replacement plan was found to leave 23 million people uninsured, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. That bill was passed by the House and sent to the Senate.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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