Graham promises ObamaCare repeal if Trump, Republicans win in 2020

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham says he will call Mueller to testify before Senate panel about Russia probe Romney blasts Trump's Stone commutation: 'Historic corruption' Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad MORE (R-S.C.) said this week that Republicans would push to repeal ObamaCare if they win back the House and President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Meadows trying to root out suspected White House leakers by feeding them info: Axios Pressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child' 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 BidenDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Teachers face off against Trump on school reopenings Biden wins Puerto Rico primary 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 McConnellCongress pulls punches on Russian bounties firestorm Congress under pressure to provide billions for school openings Hillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok 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 CollinsMore Republicans should support crisis aid for the Postal Service GOP senators voice confidence over uphill Senate battle Republicans considering an outdoor stadium for Florida convention: report MORE (Maine), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard Paul'Live with it' is the new GOP response to COVID — but no, we can't do that Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads How conservative conspiracy theories are deepening America's political divide MORE (Ky.) and the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMcCain's reset: US-Vietnam relations going strong after 25 years Senate outlook slides for GOP Juan Williams: Time for boldness from Biden 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.