Graham promises ObamaCare repeal if Trump, Republicans win in 2020

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWhite House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team Hypocrisy is the currency of the realm for GOP in the age of Trump Lawmakers push back at Pentagon's possible Africa drawdown MORE (R-S.C.) said this week that Republicans would push to repeal ObamaCare if they win back the House and President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders apologizes to Biden for supporter's op-ed Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Trump' if the US doesn't elect progressive Democrats: McConnell impeachment trial rules a 'cover up,' 'national disgrace' MORE is reelected in 2020.

"If we can get the House back and keep our majority in the Senate, and President Trump wins reelection, I can promise you not only are we going to repeal ObamaCare, we're going to do it in a smart way where South Carolina will be the biggest winner," Graham said in an interview with a South Carolina radio station.

"We've got to remind people that we're not for ObamaCare."

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Graham's repeal bill, introduced in 2017, would eliminate major sections of ObamaCare, including subsidies that help people buy insurance and the Medicaid expansion that covers low-income adults in 36 states and Washington, D.C.

The bill would essentially shift money from states like California that expanded Medicaid to states that didn't, like South Carolina. Such a move could force some states to cut health care services and reduce eligibility.

"If we could get the money back to the states, Democratic policies would be tested against our policies," Graham said. 

"This scares the hell out of the Democrats. This is what 2020 is about."

Previous GOP attempts to repeal ObamaCare were a driving force in Democrats taking back the House in 2018, and the issue has also reemerged among 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls debating the best approach to health care.

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSanders apologizes to Biden for supporter's op-ed Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Trump' if the US doesn't elect progressive White House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team MORE has emphasized the need to shore up ObamaCare from attempts by Republicans and the Trump administration to dismantle the law, while several of his progressive rivals have focused on pushing policies such as "Medicare for All."

Democrats ran on protecting ObamaCare during the 2018 midterm elections and accused Republicans of trying to take away protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

House and Senate Democrats plan to follow the same playbook in 2020, as the Trump administration supports a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the entirety of ObamaCare. 

As such, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats: McConnell impeachment trial rules a 'cover up,' 'national disgrace' Romney pledges 'open mind' ahead of impeachment trial McConnell proposes compressed schedule for impeachment trial MORE (R-Ky.) has veered away from talking about repealing ObamaCare, instead focusing on smaller health care fixes.

Graham on Tuesday touted his bill, which would allow states to opt out of consumer protections, like those that prevent insurers from charging people with pre-existing conditions more for coverage.

Senate leaders decided in 2017 not to put Graham's repeal bill up for a vote because it didn't have enough support. Conservatives fumed that Republicans failed to repeal ObamaCare despite having a majority in both houses with a Republican president. 

GOP Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMcConnell proposes compressed schedule for impeachment trial GOP can beat Democrats after impeachment — but it needs to do this one thing Juan Williams: Counting the votes to remove Trump MORE (Maine), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulJuan Williams: Counting the votes to remove Trump Mitch McConnell may win the impeachment and lose the Senate GOP threatens to weaponize impeachment witnesses amid standoff MORE (Ky.) and the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMartha McSally fundraises off 'liberal hack' remark to CNN reporter Meghan McCain blasts NY Times: 'Everyone already knows how much you despise' conservative women GOP senator calls CNN reporter a 'liberal hack' when asked about Parnas materials MORE (Ariz.) all opposed the bill. But Graham insists it would be different next time.

"We were one vote short in the Senate," Graham said.