WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- After two failed attempts by Republican senators to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, lawmakers are considering other options.
“I am open to discussion and I’ve offered to senate leadership as well as the President that I’ll negotiate," Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) said.
Paul who’s opposed the first two bills said he’d be for a clean repeal of Obamacare without an immediate replacement. His Kentucky colleague, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said a vote to do just that could happen as soon as next week. Paul shared his thoughts with other Republican senators and President Trump at the White House Wednesday.
“I’ve been in favor of repealing of Obamacare and I think we ought to do what’s called a clean repeal. No extra bailouts for insurance companies let’s just repeal the regulations so we can get cheaper insurance for people so people can get insured who can’t afford to get insured right now," Rand added.
While Senator Paul says the discussion at the White House was a productive one, there’s still some hurdles standing in President Trump’s way of getting all the Republican senators on board.
“He’s not going to allow inaction to be an option," Steve Munisteri, Principal Deputy Director at the White House Office of Public Liaison said.
He said at the end of the day, Trump wants to see Obamacare gone one way or another.
“He’s pushing the senate to move forward and there’s several ways to do it but the key is to keep working so that we can have the process so at the end of the day we can make healthcare more accessible and more affordable for the American public," Munisteri added.
The Congressional Budget Office said repealing Obama care now and replacing it later would leave 32 million more people uninsured over the next decade. Senate Democrats are calling on McConnell and their GOP colleagues to reach across the aisle.
“He should have started this process as a bipartisan process. I mean he can’t even get a bill that Republicans agree on much less the Democrats and Republicans agree on," Colorado Senator Michael Bennett (D-CO) said.
Some Republican senators met Wednesday night to continue to hash out a plan.