Rand Paul on Obamacare: Democrats will get what they want
September 21st, 2013
08:55 PM ET
10 months ago

Rand Paul on Obamacare: Democrats will get what they want

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Rand Paul acknowledged Saturday that it is increasingly unlikely Republicans in Congress can repeal President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

"We probably can't defeat or get rid of Obamacare," Sen. Paul told reporters.


Speaking to the press at a Republican confab in Mackinac Island, Michigan, the freshman senator from Kentucky conceded that he doubts the House resolution passed Friday, which would defund the Affordable Care Act, could emerge from a Senate debate unscathed and unamended. One of the most vocal opponents of Obamacare, Paul does hold out hope that threatening to not pay for the legislative program could result in a finished product that's "less bad."

"In the end the sausage factory in Washington will make the sausage," Paul told the Detroit News.

Paul, whose potential as presidential contender in 2016 has been a subject of much speculation, admitted that absent a sudden and total alignment behind an approach to tackling the health care law, his caucus' "disunity" means Republicans will most likely fall short of canceling, or even delaying, the law from going into effect.

"Leverage doesn't work unless people believe you'll actually do something," Paul said. "The fact that Democrats don't believe we'll do anything, in the end they'll get what they want and a bill will be cobbled together."


Filed under: Congress • Health care • Rand Paul
soundoff (273 Responses)
  1. ST

    I never expected Rand Paul to be all this smart in politics. The man is really smart. He knows how to play it. Cruz, Rubio looks like school boys in politics, fumbling around and don't have any clear mind in their heads. With defunding "Obamacare", they look like people who do not think, their Tea Party supporters will lose faith in them come 1st Oct. and eventually dump them.

    September 22, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. littlepeaks

    Our country's government is rapidly turning into a "train wreck", one we so richly deserve. Our founding fathers wrote the Constitution as a framework for a new form of government, one that would be wildly successful. We have change, misinterpreted, and ignored the Constitution, and this is what we get. We need to have our legislature, executive, and judicial branches (yes our Supreme Court judges) take a time out and study the letters from our founding fathers who crafted the Constitution. I am not sure if President Obama or Nancy Pelosi even read the Constitution.

    We need to have the Constitution taught in all our schools, including background on our founding fathers who wrote it.

    All you soapbox politicians commenting on this article also need to take an intense class on the Constitution.

    Finally, our members of the Legislative Branch, and, especially President Obama need to take a class on negotiating skills.

    Our Constitutional rights were given to us by God, and we surrendered them to our government for personnel protection. If you don't believe this, then our Republic will fail. That is what we deserve. And we have added a myriad of rights that aren't God given to our government - that is why we are so in debt.

    September 22, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  3. JJ

    It's the LAW. It's CONSTITUTIONAL. It's HERE TO STAY. Deal with it or pack your bags and find some other country to live in. Period.

    September 22, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. zelskid

    How can they stop it with Obama as president and dems in control of Senate?

    September 22, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  5. Anonymous

    @GI Joe
    But all those folks in red states that get "free" healthcare at the ER .

    Of course they do. And guess who pays their bills? You and I. The basement boys aren't savvy enough to understand how working people end up paying for everyone. They are too used to having mommy and daddy foot their bills. They also think that the Koch brothers will be throwing money their way as well. Eventually they'll learn to understand the loathing and contempt the Koch's have for people such as them.

    September 22, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  6. yogi

    @ KellyinBoston
    Sen. Paul. Stop being an idiot and suggest something better. For my money, the ACA makes sense. If you (or your party) have something better, why haven't we heard about years ago?
    -------------
    The GOP is only out there to protect the wealthy, and if the middle class disappears because of that so be it, they don't care. As far as them coming up with better alternatives for the ACA? That is a great question, Republicans are completely void of ideas, and compassion, they have NO idea how to govern. They do know how to play wars though, the display of the mighty military, but don't ask them why, because they really have NO idea why!

    September 22, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. Joan

    The Republicans need a new PR strategy. What they are doing now is dividing them and making them look ridiculous to the rest of the world. They will implode if they don't change course. They need to put those new young bucks who think they know it all in their place. Right now the GOP is looked at as the party of extremists, obstructionists, anti personal rights and anti minorities. They are seen as the party of the rich pandering to the big oil companies and HMO's. Millions of Republicans are fine people who don't feel this way but the leadership is being led around by the minority extremists . The tail is wagging the dog. Perhaps the best thing that ever happened for the Democrats is the formation of the Tea Party.

    September 22, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  8. Jason Rogers

    It's only the law of the land. I would hope it gets funded.

    September 22, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  9. dzerres

    Rand Paul, master of the obvious. I guess that makes him head and shoulders above the rest of the bagger crowd who seem to think you can destroy a program, most of which hasn't even gone into effect yet, through trickery and deceit rather than a straight up or down vote.

    September 22, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. John The Electrician

    If i met a guy on the street with that look on his face (Rand Paul photo) I'd call the cops and run away. Is that guy crazy or what?

    September 22, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. card1122

    No crap? Did he also announce that they are accepting the world is round and not flat? The fact that it takes an announcement to admit a FACT, and it gets a headline, shows what is wrong with our country: These lunatic teaparty types.

    It cannot be overturned. They know this. And they still waste time and our tax dollars to vote on it OVER 40 times. It's reckless, irresponsible, and downright pathetic.

    If you don't agree with it, bring ideas to the table! Our healthcare system is in trouble, people DIE every day from not being accepted and flat out not having health insurance. God forbid a law that requires you to protect you and your family from health risks. It's not even universal healthcare. It's just a fine to make sure everyone is covered. It also puts restrictions on the million dollar corps deciding your fate, like putting a cap on how much profit they can make in relation to how much is spent on actual healthcare. The remainder is returned to us, the customer. Millions were already given back to the American people last year. Crazy Obama! How dare him want people to have HEALTH INSURANCE.

    September 22, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  12. Minnie Mouse

    No, Democrats will not get what they want and neither will the Republicans. The people who are the winners, are the 99% of the US. We are the ones who don't have insurance at all or cannot afford for the ones who are paying for it at 100% on his or her own.

    You have no right telling anyone they cannot get insurance coverage by denying nearly 40% of the country, of people who has have pre-existing conditions. These are new born infants, children, men, women, seniors and veterans. We all have rights. We need these options, access and assistance to make sure that everyone is taken care of.

    As a government, you can't just leave people behind to fend for themselves by denying them access to health care.
    Some of these people will be put in life or death situations if they don't get the health care attention and medications needed for everyday survival.

    This health care law needs to move forward. Our government voted for it in 2010 in a bipartisan agreement and the US Supreme Court ruled the law "Constitutional".

    September 22, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. lewtwo

    Well if Rand Paul is against it then there must be some validity for its merits.

    September 22, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  14. g

    looks like the health insurance mafia ,is putting up a last stand .

    September 22, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. Romero Barcelino

    I think this law should let go in to effect, if the law is so bad then it will be easy to repeal, my question is Why the GOP wants so bad to repeal it before it even get a trial, I can see they are really afraid of this law, because if is true that many people without health insurance now will be able to get affordable health care, then is the end for the GOP, because they being in power for many terms and they never came up with a solution, so again Why repeal it now? Because is the end of a political party that the only agenda is fill my pockets, promote wars so we can look powerful to the rest of the world and let the big corporation continue to screw the poor as long as they keep those dollars coming in to my own benefit and screw also the tax payers, they will vote for me as long as I promise something that will never be achieved.

    September 22, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  16. tammyleg

    So even this idiot sees the writing on the wall...Obamacare is NOT going away. It will be recognized one day as a crowing achievement that saved the health care system for millions of americans. So why does the GOP and it's foes in the T-Party continue to spend millions of dollars trying to defund it? It's a waste of time and energy by the Congress instead of trying to do something positive to fix this damn country. The GOP will never pass one piece of legislation if it comes from the President or Dems....doesn't matter if it were the cure for cancer. They'd continue to demonize it and Obama...because they just HATE losing and are interested in the party and the 99% more than they are about the other 99%.

    September 22, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  17. Thomas

    If the GOP really cared about health care and the citizens of this country, they would be working to fix the ACA. But they are not interested in that. All the GOP seems to care about is getting rid of the program so as not to give the Democrats any sense of victory or legacy.

    Party before country. :(

    If there are things the GOP does not like in the ACA, then fix it. Don't just keep trying to cancel it without a good plan to take its place.

    The GOP is making it harder and harder for me to stay a republican.

    September 22, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  18. Jerry Okamura

    The party that says our government should not force a woman to have a child, is the same party that says it is okay to force everyone to have health insurance. How does that make any sense?

    September 22, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. card1122

    The financial burden of paying for healthcare? You talking puppets are all the sudden concerned with people being able to afford it? Give me a break. Try the financial burden of NOT having healthcare and getting sick. How about a $5,000 dollar emergency room visit? How about a $20,000 dollar surgery? How about a $100,000 cancer treatment? How about their baby getting sick and a week in the hospital costs them $20,000?

    It simply requires people to buy health insurance on their own. If you are struggling that much financially, that is the only part where the government steps in. They offer lower rates to the poor. It does make sense. You have a problem with that too? It's much cheaper to subsidize a couple hundred dollars in health insurance for a poor family than having these same people rack up tens of thousands of dollars at a hospital and us tax-payers foot the bill. Funny how some of you talking heads use that as proof: that anyone can go to a hospital and get treatment and that shows everyone is covered. Yeah, and tax-payers pay for it. Contradicting your whole point on Obamacare. We actually pay more without it. The only thing you guys are standing up for is the million dollar health corporations.

    September 22, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  20. Elmo

    This is just like the birth of the Social Security program. It's going to take a generation or two to get it right. That we have final began to address this is the key factor in the conversation.

    September 22, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  21. A Kickin' Donkey

    If journalists want to stamp their feet and rail about their " 1st Ammendment privaledges and " Freedoom of ther Press", then they have a duty to serve the public interest.

    Letting the Republican Party pretend for the past 4 years , that they could "repeal" ObamaCare, does not fit that discription. How much time & money has been wasted while the GOP carried on this chirade? How much purile, party of NO, tea party obstructionism has been FOSTERED by the press because they didn't pin Congressmen & Senators down when they dared offer these EMPTY diatribes against the ACA instead of specifics, improvements, enhancement, changes [ and by changes, I don't mean "repeal" which was NEVER an option].

    I hold the press culpable in this too. Their interests were conflicted. They wanted content for their cable news networks, websites etc., and mindless, anti-Obama rhetoric on the ACA and other topics fit the bill. Media-types, you want to trot out the "Freedom of the Press" shield, then you better start swing the sword to further the public interest on efficiency & efficacy in government.

    September 22, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. Ralph_in_FL

    They have an alternative. It is called WeDon'tCare.

    September 22, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. Herbal Tea

    The Dem. controlled Senate should send the CR bill back to the House with the inclusion of Gun Safety regulation and de-funding Corporate Welfare.

    September 22, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. Skarphace

    Act like an adult, Republicans. What is the adult way to overturn a piece of legislation? Overturn it in a vote. If you don't have enough votes, then convince enough people to vote in politicians who do want to overturn the legislation.

    What you don't do is try and force overturn the legislation without a vote by threatening to shut down the government if that piece of legislation is not passed. That is what a child would do, not an adult. Adults shouldn't throw temper tantrums.

    September 22, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. Wes Scott

    Who IS this Rand Paul guy and why would ANYBODY listen to anything he has to say? The guy makes his daddy look intelligent by comparison. He almost makes George W. Bush look intelligent, and that is all but impossible to do.

    September 22, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
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