Trump threatens to brand Rand Paul as 'the Republican who saved Obamacare'

President Donald Trump on Friday urged Republican senators on the fence about voting for the Graham-Cassidy healthcare legislation to not be the “Republican who saved Obamacare,” zeroing in on Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

“Rand Paul, or whoever votes against Hcare Bill, will forever (future political campaigns) be known as ‘the Republican who saved ObamaCare,'” Trump tweeted.

Paul came out against the bill soon after its introduction because, in his view, it does not go far enough in repealing Obamacare. Paul said he would vote against the measure, leaving the future of the bill in doubt.

Moderate Republican senators, including Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have not said which way they lean on the bill. The GOP can only afford two defections for it to pass.

The Graham-Cassidy bill is Republicans’ last chance to repeal Obamacare using the budget reconciliation method, which allows legislation to move forward with a simple majority. If the bill does not pass by September 30, the GOP would need Democratic support for any healthcare measure.

Paul, however, expressed his displeasure that the Graham-Cassidy maintains many of the taxes created under Obamacare and continues to fund its Medicaid expansion — albeit at a lower amount than the current system.

“It keeps 90% of Obamacare spending and 90% of Obamacare taxes,” Paul tweeted on September 15. “No thanks.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he intends to bring the Graham-Cassidy bill to the floor next week.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.