Graham pushes back on working with Democrats on health care reform

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOvernight Health Care: Watchdog finds Tom Price improperly used funds on flights | Ex-Novartis CEO sent drug pricing proposal to Cohen | HHS staffers depart after controversial social media posts HHS staffers depart after controversial social media posts: report Senate takes symbolic shot at Trump tariffs MORE (R-S.C.) on Sunday pushed back on the possibility of working with Democrats on heath care reform, saying ObamaCare is a placeholder for "BernieCare" for Democrats. 

“I’ve come to conclude that ObamaCare is a placeholder for BernieCare in the Democratic world," Graham said on ABC's "This Week," adding that there is no bipartisan process at this point for moving forward on health care reform. 

Graham's comments come as he and Senate Republican leadership scramble to get GOP votes for the GOP's latest repeal and replace legislation, the Graham-Cassidy bill which Graham co-sponsored with Sen. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyGOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE Lawmakers pitch dueling plans for paid family leave New push to break deadlock on paid family leave MORE (R-La.).

ADVERTISEMENT
Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRand Paul ‘concerned’ about Kavanaugh Senate Dems tell Trump: Don't meet with Putin one-on-one McConnell: Senate to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 1 MORE (R-Ariz.) announced on Friday that he would be voting against the legislation, saying he wanted to opt for a bipartisan solution that follows the "regular process" of hearings and committee discussion.

McCain's announcement is a near-fatal blow to the legislation, which now needs every other Republican vote in the conference to pass. Graham said he respects McCain's decision but "I just disagree with him here."

But Graham said Republicans are "moving forward."

“I think we’re going to get the votes next week," he said.

Graham looked to appeal to other Republicans on Sunday, including Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsDem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick McConnell: Senate to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 1 Overnight Health Care: Watchdog finds Tom Price improperly used funds on flights | Ex-Novartis CEO sent drug pricing proposal to Cohen | HHS staffers depart after controversial social media posts MORE (R-Maine), who has suggested she is leaning toward voting no on Graham-Cassidy, and with Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul ‘concerned’ about Kavanaugh Rand Paul on Russia indictments: We should focus on protecting elections instead of 'witch hunt on the president' Sunday shows preview: Trump readies for meeting with Putin MORE (R-Ky.), who has said he will not vote for the bill, calling it "ObamaCare lite."

"Susan Collins is a great senator; they [Maine] get a 42 percent increase. The governor of Arizona has come out for this bill. Rand Paul objects to the taxes, but when you look at the bill, Rand, we save a lot of money over time for Medicaid, we put a cap on ObamaCare growth, we make it more sustainable, more affordable, more flexible. So I think Senator Paul associated health plan married up with our bill changes health care," he said. 

"So yes, we're moving forward and we'll see what happens next week. I'm very excited about it, we've finally found an alternative to ObamaCare," Graham said.