Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Tuesday stressed that conservatives are key to Obamacare repeal.
“Conservatives will be listened to or there won’t be a repeal,” Paul said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper. “We’re not just going along with whatever they try to shove down our throats. We’re going to be a big part of this.”
He criticized a leaked draft of a GOP Obamacare replacement plan to rework the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies into refundable tax credits.
“Refundable tax credits, this means you get back money you didn’t pay. Somebody else’s money,” Paul said. “So I don’t think we can dress up Democrat ideas and put a Republican stamp on them, call them a tax credit and say that we’re giving them something different than what Obamacare was doing.”
He said that Republicans “shouldn’t dress up a new government entitlement program” as a policy shift.
“What we should be for is lowering insurance premiums, lowering the rates and letting working class people get good insurance at a less expensive cost,” he said. “We are bankrupt as a country because we’re overextended already on the entitlement programs that we have without adding new ones.”
House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows (R-NC) and House Republican Study Committee Chair Mark Walker (R-SC) said they would have trouble voting for a bill resembling the recently leaked draft.
Sens. Paul, Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) signaled their support for Meadows and Walker in tweets posted Monday night, and two outside conservative groups, Club for Growth and FreedomWorks, announced their support as well on Tuesday.