U.S. Sen. Rand Paul suggested Sunday that Kentucky and other states that expanded Medicaid under federal health reform should have to raise taxes to keep it expanded and not rely on the federal government to continue the benefit.
Paul appeared on CNN‘s “State of the Union” to discuss his plan for replacing the law, which he said should be replaced the same day it is repealed. “Paul’s plan did not directly address the future of states that signed on for expanded Medicaid offered as part of Obamacare,” Gregory Kreig reports for CNN.
The expansion covers people in households with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (about $33,000 a year for a family of four). It added about 44,000 Kentuckians to the program and was largely responsible for cutting by more than half the percentage of Kentuckians without health insurance.
Paul said his replacement plan would allow health-insurance companies to offer cheaper plans with less coverage. “We’re going to legalize the sale of inexpensive insurance,” he said. “That means getting rid of the Obamacare mandates on what you can buy. We are going to help people save through health savings accounts, as well as a tax credit.”
However, Paul is just one of 100 senators, and President-elect Donald Trump says he has he own plan, which will have “insurance for everybody.” Kreig notes, “Republicans have been at loggerheads over the timing and execution of their promise to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a cheaper alternative that will not disrupt the insurance market and leave millions of Americans without coverage.”