(ABC NEWS) -- The lack of votes in the Senate for the Republican health care bill is an opportunity for a "clean repeal" of Obamacare and thus a "victory" for conservatives, Sen. Rand Paul told "Good Morning America" today.
"What I'm calling a victory is not the defeat of the plan. What I'm calling the victory is that we will get to vote on a clean repeal," the Kentucky Republican said in an interview with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos.
Paul said that while he's not in favor of the health care bill passed by the House of Representatives to repeal Obamacare and has warned against repealing without a replacement, he would vote for a "clean repeal."
"I'm in favor of and will vote to go to the clean repeal that is being proposed now," Paul said.
"I still favor a replacement," he added. "But what we discovered is Republicans don't agree on a replacement."
Three Republican senators have come out against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan to roll back the Obama administration's signature health care legislation without a ready-made replacement. President Donald Trump said he would not take responsibility for the future of Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, declaring that Congress should "let Obamacare fail."
On Tuesday night, however, McConnell announced that, in consultation with the White House, the Senate will hold a vote to advance his motion to repeal Obamacare "early next week."
In the interview on "GMA" this morning, Paul called Obamacare a "disaster" and said he wants to repeal and replace it with "freedom" and "competition."
The senator said he plans to recommend to the president that he "unilaterally legalize" nationwide buying groups, allowing people to join co-ops, so Americans can utilize the free market and get cheaper insurance.
"I think there's one enormous thing President Trump can do on his own and that is to let anybody in the country get out of the individual market where the death spiral is and get into an association," Paul said.
"We have Obamacare," he added. "It's terrible. My wife and I spend hours on the phone trying to get the insurance companies to pay for anything. We're just like every American -- very, very frustrated with the insurance system."