GOP Kentucky Sen. Rand Paulís proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare appears to be gaining traction with House conservatives.
Paul met with members of the House Freedom Caucus Wednesday to discuss the details of his health care blueprint, which was largely met with praise from the powerful conservative group.
ďYou know I think that we had a great meeting ó I donít want to characterize the Freedom Caucus ó but I do think that there is a lot of consensus among conservatives that we need a replacement bill, and it needs to be a market oriented replacement bill, not another big government federal plan,Ē Paul told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
HFC Chairman Mark Meadows told TheDCNF there were elements of the plan he found encouraging, adding he believes Congress needs to move quickly on health-care reform.
North Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford said heís considering introducing a companion bill in the House, noting he still needs to have discussions with HFC members about co-sponsoring the legislation.
ďI think he has a great bill, I think itís important to lay out conservative principles early on in the health-care debate, and the debate about what follows repeal,Ē he told TheDCNF. ďI think itís important to do as he has suggested in as much as possible coupling the repeal with replace ó if you think about something as important as peopleís health care, they donít want to have a void, they donít want to be uncertain about what comes next.Ē
Sanford said it will take time for insurance companies in the commercial marketplace to create products that fit with the replacement plan, suggesting that Paulís legislation eliminates the potential for a large gap during the transition.
Paul, who spoke with the White House about his plan in January, has been adamant that repeal and replacement should occur simultaneously. With President Donald Trump stressing the urgency of health care reform, Paul said itís likely lawmakers will act on a plan in coming weeks.
ďWe want more people to be able to afford insurance, Obamacare made the prices higher, we want to free up the ability to sell more insurance plans that are less expensive and I think thatís what this conservative replacement plan will do,Ē he said. ďI think the next few weeks it could be three weeks, it could be six weeks, but I think youíll see something in the next two months that will be a repeal and replacement.Ē
Virginia Rep. Dave Brat said that Sen. Paulís blueprint is the most conservative of the plans that have been laid out, addinghe believes itís critical they assure the plan is right since it could have a strong impact on solvency of a number of entitlement programs.
ďAll the elements of Randís plan are moving us in the right direction toward patient-centered health-care, lower costs, bigger pools to insure everyone and cover preexisting conditions and I think that many members will look favorably on it,Ē Brat told TheDCNF. ďFrom what Iíve seen so far this is the most free-market approach to health care that will truly bend down the cost curve.Ē