Graham signals Senate GOP will force more healthcare votes

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) signaled that Republicans will continue to offer amendments to change the Democrats' healthcare law even if Wednesday's repeal vote fails as expected.   

Graham and Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), a doctor, introduced legislation on Tuesday that would allow states to opt out of the law's individual mandate, employee mandate and Medicaid mandate.

In a speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday, Graham said he "looks forward" to having the opt-out legislation considered as an amendment. 

“I look forward to casting my vote to repeal and replace,” Graham said. “If that does not work, I look forward to having my amendment, along with Sen. Barrasso, on the floor of the Senate, allowing states to opt out if they choose.”

The legislation, S. 244, The State Health Care Choice Act, is part of Republicans’ effort to "repeal and replace" the Democrats’ healthcare law.

“Instead of requiring states to follow ObamaCare’s one-size-fits-all healthcare policy, our bill lets states decide what works best for them," Barrasso said in a statement. "We will fight to repeal the president’s bad health spending law and provide states with flexibility, freedom and choice."

But Senate Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday he has yet to see a serious attempt at “replacing” the law from Republicans.

"It used to be 'repeal and replace,' but there is no replacement,” Schumer said. 

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