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Graham promises ObamaCare repeal if Trump, Republicans win in 2020

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamFacebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 spending wars | Biden looks to clean up oil comments | Debate ratings are in Jaime Harrison raises million in two weeks for South Carolina Senate bid MORE (R-S.C.) said this week that Republicans would push to repeal ObamaCare if they win back the House and President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kusher's lawyer threatens to sue Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' 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 BidenFacebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' Senate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus 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 McConnellOvernight Health Care: Following debate, Biden hammers Trump on coronavirus | Study: Universal mask-wearing could save 130,000 lives | Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight On The Money: Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight | Landlords, housing industry sue CDC to overturn eviction ban Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight 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 tees up Barrett nomination, setting up rare weekend session Collins says running as Independent 'crossed my mind' Republicans advance Barrett's Supreme Court nomination after Democrats boycott committee vote MORE (Maine), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulMichigan Republican isolating after positive coronavirus test GOP Rep. Mike Bost tests positive for COVID-19 Top Democrats introduce resolution calling for mask mandate, testing program in Senate MORE (Ky.) and the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMark Kelly releases Spanish ad featuring Rep. Gallego More than 300 military family members endorse Biden Jennifer Lawrence says until Trump she was 'a little Republican' 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.