Sen. Rand Paul has not been quiet about his displeasure with the Republican healthcare bill as it was written, saying many times that he can't vote for it unless it looks more like an actual repeal of Obamacare.
Paul has derided Republicans for dropping the essence of their previous "repeal and replace" mantra for another big government approach, which promises an infusion of more federal money into the healthcare system.
Now that Paul has voiced support for separating the repeal effort from the replace effort into two different bills, he has distinguished himself even further from the rest of his caucus as one of the few remaining small government, pro-liberty Republicans.
Commenting on the current bill, he said, "We have nearly $200 billion in insurance bailouts. Does anybody remember us complaining that Obamacare had insurance bailouts?"
He continued, "Now, there are Republicans getting so weak-kneed they are saying, oh, we're afraid to repeal the taxes. What happened to these people? They all were for repealing Obamacare. Now there's virtually no one left," and continuing, "every time you add more federal money, more spending, for the big government Republicans, it offends the conservatives."
Paul also said on Cavuto: "You could say to the moderates we are going to give you more spending over here but it's going to be on a separate bill, and then you say to conservatives like me that are worried about the debt and think that we're going to ruin the country – I can't vote for all that spending – so if you want my vote, clean up the repeal, don't put all the Christmas ornaments and billion dollar goodies on it, just give me repeal, and if the Democrats and big government Republicans insist on Christmas ornaments that cost $45 billion and $100 billion, it'll be on a different bill."
His implication is clear: he wants to reduce the federal government's role in health care – as he and others in his party previously promised to do – and is, therefore, a conservative, and those Republicans supporting this bill are not.