Graham reaffirms friendship with McCain despite opposition to ObamaCare repeal

Graham reaffirms friendship with McCain despite opposition to ObamaCare repeal
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Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Tight security for Capitol rally; Biden agenda slows Trump offers sympathy for those charged with Jan. 6 offenses Lindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees MORE (R-S.C.) reaffirmed his friendship with Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCain20 years after 9/11, US foreign policy still struggles for balance What the chaos in Afghanistan can remind us about the importance of protecting democracy at home 'The View' plans series of conservative women as temporary McCain replacements MORE (R-Ariz.) Friday after McCain announced his opposition to the ObamaCare repeal bill co-sponsored by Graham.

“My friendship with John McCain is not based on how he votes but respect for how he’s lived his life and the person he is," Graham said in a statement. "I respectfully disagree with his position not to proceed forward on Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson."

McCain announced Friday that he would vote against the latest GOP proposal to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

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McCain also voted against the last Republican effort to repeal and replace former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein Obama Chelsea Manning tests positive for COVID-19 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Tight security for Capitol rally; Biden agenda slows Obama backs Trudeau in Canadian election MORE's signature health-care bill. Both times, McCain has been a key vote in the Republican effort to pass legislation.

Graham said his bill, which he is co-sponsoring with GOP Sens. Bill CassidyBill CassidyGOP senator on Texas abortion law: Supreme Court will 'swat it away' when 'it comes to them in an appropriate manner' GOP hopes spending traps derail Biden agenda Sunday shows preview: States deal with fallout of Ida; Texas abortion law takes effect MORE (La.), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGOP senator: Buying Treasury bonds 'foolish' amid standoff over debt ceiling, taxes Internal poll shows Barnes with 29-point lead in Wisconsin Democratic Senate primary Wisconsin Democratic Senate candidate facing 4 felony charges MORE (Wis.) and Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Democrat Jacky Rosen becomes 22nd senator to back bipartisan infrastructure deal 9 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2022 MORE (Nev.), is Republicans’ “best chance to repeal and replace ObamaCare” and accused ObamaCare of “collapsing in Arizona, South Carolina and across the nation — driving up premiums and reducing choices.”

“I feel an obligation to fix this disaster and intend to push forward for state-centric health care vs. Washington-knows-best health care,” Graham said.

“Taking money/power out of Washington & returning it to states to administer [health care] is the best way to replace a collapsing Obamacare system,” he continued. “I’m excited about solutions we have found in Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson.  We press on.”

“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried," McCain said in a statement on Friday.

McCain’s opposition leaves Republicans with no room for error as they try to gather the 50 votes necessary to pass the bill. Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken Rand Paul: 'Hatred for Trump' blocking research into ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment Masks and vaccines: What price freedom? MORE (R-Ky.) has already announced his opposition to the bill, and Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsWelcome to ground zero of climate chaos A tale of two chambers: Trump's power holds in House, wanes in Senate Bipartisan blip: Infrastructure deal is last of its kind without systemic change MORE (R-Maine) said Friday she is “leaning against” the bill.