President Donald Trump has been desperately trying to pass a health care bill to effectively “repeal and replace” Obamacare. However, a number of senators, like Rand Paul (R-Ky.), have expressed significant opposition which is heavily obstructing the path for the new Senate health care bill. Despite these difficulties, it seems the president is keeping an open mind for what to do next.
Trump has invited Paul to exclusive meetings in order to discuss the health care bill. In response, other Republican senators are upset that they are unable to voice their opinions in the same manner.
Politico reported that the President met will Paul face-to-face just a day before Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pulled the Republican health care bill from the Senate floor. While other senators were not afforded this opportunity, they instead had to discuss with the president in groups.
Although Paul is publicly opposed to current Republican bill, he has expressed the willingness to negotiate. As it currently stands, Paul believes the legislation will speed up the eventually crash of the Affordable Care Act, labeling it the “Obamacare death spiral.”
Though it is a great challenge to gain Paul’s approval on healthcare, Paul stated that “[Trump] is very persuasive.”
Moreover, it seems Paul is gaining significant influence on Trump. Paul Teller, a member of Trump’s office of legislative affairs, has informed Republicans that Trump will only sign legislation aimed at repealing Obamacare, according to Politico. Instead of finding a replacement bill, it seems Trump and Paul are simply focused on repealing first.
Although Trump’s aides are not confident in gaining Paul’s approval, those close to Paul say that he and Trump “have a great relationship.”
“The president and Rand Paul have a great relationship. They have both been very public in their supporting of gutting Obamacare, repealing Obamacare,” said Brian Darling, a former counsel and spokesman for Paul who is still close to the senator. Trump “would be happy if the bill could pass and move a little more to Rand Paul’s views.”
Sergio Gor, the spokesman for Paul stated, “Sen. Paul considers President Trump a friend and is always open to providing constructive feedback.”
First reported by The Blaze.