Graham promises ObamaCare repeal if Trump, Republicans win in 2020

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHouse Judiciary Committee to hold hearing on police brutality next week McCabe, Rosenstein spar over Russia probe Rosenstein takes fire from Republicans in heated testimony MORE (R-S.C.) said this week that Republicans would push to repeal ObamaCare if they win back the House and President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer employees critique EPA under Trump in new report Fired State Department watchdog says Pompeo aide attempted to 'bully' him over investigations Virginia senator calls for Barr to resign over order to clear protests 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 BidenFox News polls: Trump trails Biden in Ohio, Arizona and Wisconsin Kelly holds double-digit lead over McSally in Arizona: poll Obama calls for police reforms, doesn't address Trump 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 McConnellSenate passes bill to give flexibility for small business coronavirus aid program On The Money: GOP turning against new round of ,200 rebate checks | Millions of Americans frustrated by delayed unemployment checks | Senate votes to give coronavirus relief program more flexibility Rand Paul holding up quick passage of anti-lynching bill 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 CollinsClyburn: Cowed GOP ascribes 'mystical powers' to Trump Trump pushes back against GOP senators' criticism of dispersal of protesters in Lafayette Square: 'You got it wrong' Trump, Biden battle to shape opinion on scenes of unrest MORE (Maine), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul holding up quick passage of anti-lynching bill Democratic senator to offer amendment halting 'military weaponry' given to police Second senator tests positive for coronavirus antibodies MORE (Ky.) and the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainKelly holds double-digit lead over McSally in Arizona: poll Montana barrels toward blockbuster Senate fight How Obama just endorsed Trump 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.