Report: Republicans Plotting Another Obamacare Repeal Push Before Midterms

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AP

A report from Quin Hillyer, a Washington Examiner writer, suggested that Republicans might reveal in the next few weeks a new push to repeal Obamacare before the 2018 midterm election.

Hillyer first reported in January that former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) continues to work with fellow Republicans on a revived Obamacare repeal proposal, similar to the Graham-Cassidy proposal that almost got enough support to pass through the Senate last September.

Hillyer suggested that “growing number of groups have continued to meet and tweak their plan, and they seem just a few weeks away from being able to unveil it.”

The original Graham-Cassidy legislation would repeal Obamacare’s employer mandate and block grant health care to the states so that Republican states can design more conservative and affordable alternatives to the Affordable Care Act.

Republicans came close to repealing Obamacare through the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare block-grant repeal legislation in September. The legislation, sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Ron Dean Heller (R-NV), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) quickly gained widespread support from Republicans in the weeks before the budgetary reconciliation deadline a few months ago. Now that Republicans have managed to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which would repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate, Republicans can capitalize on that momentum to fully repeal and replace Obamacare in 2018.

Sen. Lindsey Graham told in an exclusive interview in December that he continues to work with Vice President Mike Pence and the White House on a revived Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal bill.

Graham rebuked Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) assertion that Republicans should move on from Obamacare repeal, calling it an “unpardonable sin.”

Sen. Graham also suggested that although the individual mandate remains a significant part of the Obamacare repeal legislation, it does not serve as the “core” of Obamacare.

The South Carolina senator explained, “It was one of the pillars but by no means the core. Obamacare is still the law of the land. All of the exchanges are up and running, all of the increased costs still rise, all we did is prevent you from paying a fine if you don’t want one of the crappy choices you had under Obamacare. Millions are stuck with less coverage and more cost in spite of the individual mandate.”

The conservative writer noted that “giving conservative voters a ‘win’ on Obamacare would surely drive up Republican turnout.”

Hillyer revealed that the new Graham-Cassidy legislation would garner support from reluctant Republican senators such as Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME).

Hillyer concluded in his report, “Organizers hope Americans sick of the broken Obamacare system will start calling their members of Congress now, urging them to try again. It’s a worthy undertaking.”

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