Paul: We probably can't get rid of 'Obamacare'

Sunday - 9/22/2013, 11:40am EDT

THOMAS BEAUMONT
Associated Press

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) -- Republican Sen. Rand Paul says President Barack Obama's health care law probably can't be defeated or gotten rid of. And he's suggesting there are few ways and little time for him and other congressional Republicans to stop it.

Speaking to reporters Saturday at a gathering of Michigan Republicans, the presidential prospect said Republicans in Congress could use votes on measures in the House and in the Senate to come up with compromise legislation that could make the law more palatable. Some provisions, Paul said, include removing caps on health savings account contributions or deductibles for health policies.

But the Kentucky Republican said time for that is running out before Oct. 1, the start of the 2014 fiscal year and the date that state insurance exchanges begin.

Paul said Republicans still expect members to fight the law, which national polls show only about a third of Americans support.

"I'm acknowledging we can't probably defeat or get rid of Obamacare," he said. "But by starting with our position of not funding it, maybe we get to a position where we make it less bad."

Some Senate Republicans, including would-be 2016 presidential rivals Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida, have said they would vote to refuse to pay for the health care law, even if it meant shutting down portions of the government. Paul has called closing down the government "a dumb idea."


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