Sen. Murphy: Dems more focused on defeating Graham-Cassidy than passing single-payer

Sen. Murphy: Dems more focused on defeating Graham-Cassidy than passing single-payer
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Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Defense: Senate sides with Trump on military role in Yemen | Dem vets push for new war authorization on Iraq anniversary | General says time isn't 'right' for space corps Senate sides with Trump on providing Saudi military support Senate, Trump clash over Saudi Arabia MORE (D-Conn.) on Friday downplayed suggestions that the Democratic Party was pivoting to single-payer health care, arguing that the party is more focused now on defending the Affordable Care Act.

Murphy told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that he expected Monday's CNN debate between Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersCongress to require FEC report on foreign money in elections DCCC adds first black candidates to list of top candidates Hillary Clinton’s sorry apology is why she’s no champion for women MORE (I-Vt.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharOvernight Cybersecurity: House Intel votes to release Russia report | House lawmakers demand Zuckerberg testify | Senators unveil updated election cyber bill Five takeaways from Mark Zuckerberg's media blitz Senators introduced revised version of election cyber bill MORE (D-Minn.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenators introduced revised version of election cyber bill GOP senators push tougher sentencing for synthetic opioid Dems aim to turn ObamaCare hikes into election weapon MORE (R-S.C.) and Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyGOP senators push tougher sentencing for synthetic opioid Reforming Medicaid’s drug discount program would be a real congressional achievement Here is a health care proposal that could actually work MORE (R-La.) to be focused on ObamaCare and whether or not to repeal it.

“I actually don’t think that Bernie Sanders is going to be talking about single-payer health care Monday night,” Murphy said Friday. “I think he’s going to be talking about why Graham-Cassidy is such an immediate threat to the country.”

The four senators will meet for a debate on CNN on Monday evening, moderated by anchor Jake Tapper and chief political correspondent Dana Bash.

"With a critical deadline looming, Graham and Cassidy, architects of the Republicans latest healthcare proposal, will debate Sanders and Klobuchar on the merits of the plan that would repeal and replace Obamacare," CNN said in its announcement.

The Graham-Cassidy bill, which could get a vote next week in the Senate, is the GOP's last-ditch attempt to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate approves .3 trillion spending bill, sending to Trump GOP senator threatened to hold up bill over provision to honor late political rival: report Conservatives balk over funding bill ahead of shutdown  MORE (R-Ky.) has already come out against the legislation, affording Republicans just one more defection against a unified Democratic minority.

Sanders, who has introduced his own single-payer "Medicare for all" health-care bill, has gained the support of more than a dozen Democratic co-sponsors, including most of the likely 2020 presidential contenders. Klobuchar, however, has not endorsed his bill, though she is a vocal critic of Graham-Cassidy.

But Murphy told MSNBC on Friday that Sanders will likely pivot to a full-throated defense of ObamaCare during the debate Monday night, which will help Democrats rally to defeat the bill later in the week.

“I think we have got to be out there as a Democratic Party continuing to explain what this bill does, and that includes Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar,” Murphy said. “I think our collective efforts, in the end, will be successful.”