Tags: Healthcare Reform | lindsey graham | skinny | obamacare | repeal

Lindsey Graham Slams 'Skinny' Obamacare Repeal Bill But Will 'Move Process Along'

Image: Lindsey Graham Slams 'Skinny' Obamacare Repeal Bill But Will 'Move Process Along'
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By    |   Thursday, 27 Jul 2017 06:24 PM

Sen. Lindsey Graham on Thursday slammed the "skinny" Obamacare repeal legislation as "a half-assed approach" – saying that he would not support it unless House Republicans go to conference to work out a final bill to send to President Donald Trump.

"I'd rather get out of the way and let it collapse than have a half-assed approach, which is now our problem," the South Carolina told reporters at the Capitol. "We're not going to do that with our vote.

"What we will do is move the process along."

Graham was flanked by fellow Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

They all said that they would only vote for the "skinny" repeal now being debated in the Senate if the House works to fashion a comprehensive repeal and replacement bill to send to the president.

House Republicans approved their legislation, the American Health Care Act, in May.

The four senators said they feared fear that if the bare-bones repeal is approved, the House will simply approve it and send it to President Trump, who has vowed to sign legislation to end the Affordable Care Act.

"The skinny bill as policy is a disaster," Graham said. "The skinny bill as a replacement for Obamacare is a fraud.

"The skinny bill is a vehicle to get in conference to find a replacement," he added. "It is not a replacement in and of itself."

The basic plan, pushed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, would eliminate these core aspects of Obamacare: the individual mandate requiring health insurance or face a fine, the requirement for businesses with more than 50 employees provide medical coverage, and the medical-device tax on manufacturers.

The basic Obamacare repeal plan was among many variations to be voted on by senators Thursday in a marathon session expected to go into the early hours on Friday.

The Republican senators called on House Speaker Paul Ryan and other chamber leaders to guarantee that any skinny bill would go to conference.

"I am convinced that we can move forward, but we have to have an assurance that it will go to a normal conference," said McCain, who returned to Washington this week after recent brain cancer surgery. "Right now, that is not the case.

"And we do not have the assurance that it's the case.

"I believe that one of the major problems with Obamacare was that it was rammed through Congress by Democrats without a single Republican vote," he added. "I believe we shouldn't make that similar mistake again."

In his plea to the House, Johnson said that "all we're asking leadership, and this is a very simple request: Just give us the assurance that whatever we pass tonight will go to conference... and we, hopefully, can replace Obamacare with something that works."

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Sen. Lindsey Graham on Thursday slammed the "skinny" Obamacare repeal legislation as "a half-assed approach" – saying that he would not support it unless House Republicans go to conference to work out a final bill to send to President Donald Trump.
lindsey graham, skinny, obamacare, repeal
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2017-24-27
Thursday, 27 Jul 2017 06:24 PM
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