Sen. Rand Paul changes tune on opposition to health-care bill

He also suggested that the bill's authors whittle down the current version to the parts that the caucus largely agrees on.
By Linda Mack | Jun 27, 2017
The GOP's Obamacare-repeal bill may get Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) vote after all. Paul said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that he would vote for a partial repeal of Obamacare and that if the existing bill gets less than 50 votes, he will vote in favor of it.

"It doesn't have to be 100 percent repeal," Paul said. "So, for example, I'm for 100 percent repeal, that's what I want. But if you offer me 90 percent repeal, I'd probably would vote it. I might vote for 80 percent repeal."

He also suggested that the bill's authors whittle down the current version to the parts that the caucus largely agrees on. The remaining issues on which there is disagreement could be put aside and dealt with later, he argued.

"If there's dissent on Medicaid, why don't we come back in six months and say, you know what, let's work with Democrats," Paul said. "I think there's a bill that all 52 Republicans agree on if they keep narrowing the focus."

Paul is one of five GOP senators who are on record saying that they will not vote for the bill in its current form. The bill needs at least three of them to change their minds and give it their votes, or else it will not reach the 50-vote threshold it needs to clear the floor.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), also speaking on "This Week," said that it is hard for her to imagine the bill passing next week. Collins remains undecided on the bill and expressed several concerns in her on-air interview, including the bill's cuts to Medicaid and its anticipated reduction in the number of Americans who are insured.

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