Rand Paul: Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill 'a Bad Idea'

Monday, 25 Sep, 2017

Donald Trump went on the attack on Twitter on Saturday morning over the latest failure of the Republican-controlled Senate to pass healthcare reform.

Collins was one of three Republicans to sink the previous effort to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's signature health care law, along with Arizona's John McCain and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who hasn't announced a position on the current measure.

The remarks by Trump come as a surprise, given Paul has stated that he "won't be bribed or bullied" into supporting the bill, and has repeatedly criticized its contents.

Trump, who also bashed McCain during a campaign rally Friday night, said the Arizona senator had let down his constituents, as well as his friend and fellow senator, Lindsey Graham of SC. However, after McCain's "no", if Paul remains a "no" and Collins also declares definitively she won't vote for the bill, Republicans openly acknowledge that's the ballgame. "He campaigned on Repeal & Replace".

Trump says the bill would be "great for Arizona" and he says McCain "let his best friend L.G. down!" Trump said. "Alaska had a 200% plus increase in premiums under ObamaCare, worst in the country".

"I can not in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal", McCain said in a public statement.

The new proposal would turn Obamacare funds into block grants for the states, which would create their own health-care plans for their residents.

In a surprise statement, McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, said: "I can not in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal".

President Donald Trump is holding out hope that a last-ditch effort to overhaul the Obama-era health law isn't over.

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As of Saturday, the Senate Finance Committee still plans to hold a hearing on the Graham-Cassidy bill on Monday. "I can't in good conscience vote to keep all the spending".

The Arizona Republican says he can't back the partisan GOP measure because "we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats".

Republicans need at least 50 votes to pass the bill, relying on Vice President Mike Pence to break a tie. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have expressed skepticism about it.

Senators John McCain and Rand Paul already have expressed opposition.

Paul, who was a Trump rival for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, said he doesn't resent Trump's tweets against him. Graham said. "Flexibility and innovation is what we're seeking".

On Friday, Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from ME, also inched closer to closing the door on Graham-Cassidy, saying that she was "leaning against", the bill, according to a report from The Portland Press Herald. Wisconsin would see an infusion of about $3.5 billion in federal money during the next six years under the bill, according to an independent analysis by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

McConnell has been trying to schedule a vote on the bill by September 30, which is the last day it could pass with only a simple majority of 51 votes in the Senate. The lobbying of Paul, who has ripped Graham-Cassidy on a seemingly hourly basis the past week, has been largely left to the White House. "The Senate should reject it", the groups said in a statement.

The Graham-Cassidy legislation would get rid of the mandate that individuals have to buy insurance as well as the penalty for large employers that don't offer reasonably priced insurance to their employees.

But it was far from clear Sunday that they could get even close to that number. It would also enable states to circumvent ACA requirements for coverage of pre-existing conditions.