Sen. Rand Paul remains optimistic of repealing Obamacare at disc - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Sen. Rand Paul remains optimistic of repealing Obamacare at discussion in Shelbyville

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Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul

SHELBYVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Agreement seems to be in short supply these days when it comes to health care, but there's one thing that kept cropping up at Sen. Rand Paul's roundtable discussion at the Shelby County Farm Bureau on Monday.

"The rising cost for larger employers who are in a position to offer health care and for small businesses ... it's just out of reach for them," said John Wheeland with the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce.

Local farmer Mary Courtney added that, under the plan, basic could be virtually crippling to a young family.

"Through individual insurance, between our premiums for a month and each year, we end up using the full deductible, and it ends up being $40,000 to $50,000 a year," she said. "For a young family that full-time, farms that's an enormous amount of money."

Over the weekend, longtime Republican Sen. John McCain said the Republican health care plan is likely dead. 

"I have a nicer way of saying it," Paul said at Monday's discussion. "We're at an impasse. I'm still hopeful we can get an agreement. I've put forth a solution, and I'm a believer in not just being a 'no' vote ... in getting something done. You do two bills: a clean repeal and then maybe something with more federal spending the Democrats would support."

Paul was asked about his relationship with Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, the architect of the senate's health care plan, who's still working to drum up support.

"We get along just fine ... not a lot of negotiation yet," Paul said. "Some in Senate leadership saying, 'Forget conservatives. We'll just work with Dems,' ... I feel they should work with those in their party to make it look more like repeal, and I think we can still get it done."

Paul said he talked with President Donald Trump over the weekend and that they share a "conservative vision" of revamping health care, but he feels there's more the president can do.

"I think he can be helpful, and he's trying to be," Paul said. "My conversations with him have been productive, just to the point that he looks to leadership and says, 'I'm going to help you find the solution.'

"And if he's little bit more more forceful, he has cache and public popularity to get them to do the right thing, and right thing to me is to fulfill our promises: to repeal it."

Senators are returning to the Capitol this week after a week-long recess.

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