Health reform implementation

Grassley: GOP has ‘responsibility’ to support latest ObamaCare repeal effort

Keren Carrion

Republicans must follow through on their promise and pass the latest ObamaCare repeal legislation, regardless of its flaws, a top Republican said Wednesday.

According to The Des Moines Register, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told reporters in his home state that Republicans have been campaigning on repealing and replacing ObamaCare for years and must seize any opportunity they can.

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“You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered,” Grassley said of the legislation sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.).

“But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That’s pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday said he intends to hold a vote on the bill next week. It’s not clear if he has the votes needed for it to pass.

Grassley reportedly expressed doubt that it could pass.

“No, I think we’re one or two votes short, and I don’t see those other one or two votes coming,” he said, according to the Register. “I hope I’m wrong.”

Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), John McCain (Ariz.) and Susan Collins (Maine) are undecided on the legislation, but have all expressed concerns with either the process or the substance of the proposal.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has said he will oppose it.

The Graham-Cassidy bill would repeal much of ObamaCare, ending funding for Medicaid’s expansion and the health-care law’s subsidies that help people buy insurance. In their place, block grants would be given to states.

A statement from Grassley’s office said he’s not just interested in checking off a box to fulfill a campaign pledge, and that he believes repealing ObamaCare will help Iowans.

His office also noted that he was interested in a bipartisan proposal from Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) that would address rising premiums and limited choices on the state’s insurance market.

However, Alexander yesterday declared that effort dead. Democrats blamed Republican leadership for killing the bipartisan legislation to clear the way for the new repeal attempt.

Tags Bill Cassidy John McCain Lamar Alexander Lindsey Graham Lisa Murkowski Mitch McConnell Patty Murray Rand Paul Susan Collins

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