Politics & Government

Lindsey Graham hopes his Senate bill could replace Obamacare repeal effort

online@thestate.com

Republicans may be worried about the future of Obamacare repeal after the GOP’s Senate health bill fell apart this week. But South Carolina’s Sen. Lindsey Graham sees it as an opportunity.

Graham, R-Seneca, unveiled his own health care bill on Thursday, alongside Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La. After Senate leadership backed off from their own proposal on Monday, Graham took to Twitter to offer his own bill as a replacement.

Graham’s proposal attempts to sidestep some of the tensions between moderates and conservatives by converting federal Obamacare funding into block grants for the states to use as they see fit.

“Getting money and power out of Washington and returning it to the states is the best hope for innovative health care,” Graham said.

Graham even hopes his proposal could get the support of Democrats eager to preserve Obamacare regulations in their own states, although no Democrats signed on to Graham’s bill when it came out last week.

The bill introduced by GOP majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was withdrawn Monday after enough Republican senators came out against the bill to sink it.

Other Republicans took a different approach after the bills failure. Some, including U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-Laurens, called for a full repeal of Obamacare without a replacement plan. McConnell and President Donald Trump voiced similar support for full repeal as a back-up plan.

Graham’s proposal did get some support from Columbia’s Democratic Mayor Steve Benjamin, who tweeted his thanks at Graham for advocating a bi-partisan solution.

Benjamin is a part of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which is advocating a health bill that maintains coverage levels and avoids cuts to Medicaid.

“We must have a real solution to healthcare that provides accessible, affordable, quality (hashtag) healthcare,” Benjamin said.

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