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Graham pushes back on working with Democrats on health care reform

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial Trump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial Democrats formally elect Harrison as new DNC chair 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 CassidyBill CassidyModerates vow to 'be a force' under Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Biden's crisis agenda hits headwinds Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief MORE (R-La.).

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Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainDeclassify the post-9/11 torture program Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Whoopi Goldberg wears 'my vice president' shirt day after inauguration 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 CollinsCollins: Minimum wage increase should be separate from COVID-19 relief package The Hill's Morning Report - Biden: Focus on vaccine, virus, travel Moderates vow to 'be a force' under Biden MORE (R-Maine), who has suggested she is leaning toward voting no on Graham-Cassidy, and with Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate to vote Tuesday on Biden's secretary of State pick Leahy, not Roberts, to preside over impeachment trial Sunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirus 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.