Virginia GOP gov candidate says ObamaCare repeal effort 'falls short'

Virginia GOP gov candidate says ObamaCare repeal effort 'falls short'
© Greg Nash

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie (R) on Tuesday appeared to distance himself from the bill co-sponsored by Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump reviews Pelosi on morning TV: 'She wasn't bad' Encryption helps America work safely – and that goes for Congress, too Graham: Pelosi comment on Trump is 'most shameful, disgusting statement by any politician in modern history' MORE (R-S.C.) and Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyTensions boil over on Senate floor amid coronavirus debate  Overnight Energy: Democratic lawmakers seek emissions reductions in airline bailout | House Dems warn Trump against oil industry bailout | GOP senators ask Saudis to stabilize oil market GOP senators ask Saudis to stabilize oil market MORE (R-La.), a last-ditch effort by Senate Republicans to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

During a debate with opponent Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D), the Republican said that while he supports a bill intended to replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, the one put forth by Graham and Cassidy doesn't protect states that chose not to expand Medicaid.

"Premiums have skyrocketed here in the Commonwealth — the fact is we do need to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act," Gillespie said Tuesday. But, he argued, such a bill can't "punish" Virginia for not expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare.

"Graham-Cassidy falls short of that," he said.

His comments come as Senate Republicans are making a last-ditch attempt to repeal and replace ObamaCare before the Sept. 30 budget reconciliation deadline. President Trump and Vice President Pence have reportedly both been active in supporting the senators crafting the legislation.

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Northam and current Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), meanwhile, oppose the legislation. McAuliffe blasted the bill yesterday as "nothing more than a tax cut for the rich"  

“This backdoor effort to force through legislation without waiting for a [Congressional Budget Office] score or even holding as much as a single hearing is totally unacceptable," McAuliffe said Monday.

Republican lawmakers in Washington are marshaling support for the bill, which House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? The Pelosi administration It's not populism that's killing America's democracy MORE (R-Wis.) called the party's "last, best hope" to repeal former President Obama's signature health-care law.

“We hope the Senate does pass Graham-Cassidy. We’re encouraged by the development of Graham-Cassidy,” Ryan said at a town hall meeting Monday.

“And I am encouraging every senator to vote for Graham-Cassidy, because it is our best, last chance to get repeal and replace done," he added.