Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) asserted on Tuesday that shutting down the government over President Barack Obama’s health care reform law was a productive exercise “because we haven’t had a big debate about Obamacare, really, since it passed.”
Speaking to CNN host Kate Bolduan, Paul declared that Republicans had attempted to compromise with the president by delaying the health care reform law for a year.
“That I think it is a compromise position,” he explained. “So really, we’re offering a series of moving compromises trying to get a middle position and we haven’t gotten anything back from the Democrats that they’re willing to compromise.”
Bolduan pointed out that Democrats believed that Republicans were beginning from an “irrational bargaining position,” which elicited a laugh from the Kentucky senator.
“If you and I disagree and I start out by calling you irrational, we’re not going to get anywhere,” Paul insisted. “The president’s been modifying his own plan over the last several months. Should Congress not be part of that? Some of us think it’s illegal for the president to do it without our authority.”
The CNN host wondered if Paul had made a mistake by standing with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other tea party-backed lawmakers as they pushed the Republican Party into a corner on shutting down the government.
“You know, I think it was helpful to talk more about — we haven’t had a big debate about Obamacare, really, since it passed in Congress,” Paul opined. “In my state, there’s only going to be two insurance companies, used to be 30. Now there’s going to be two. And one of my choices doesn’t cover me out of state. So, when I travel up here and because of all this shutdown, I have a heart attack, I want my insurance to cover me here. But under Obamacare, it’s not going to cover me in Washington.”
Watch the video below from CNN’s New Day, broadcast Oct. 1, 2013.