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Graham Reminds Us 2020 GOP Victory Means Another Assault on Obamacare

Graham makes a promise, or perhaps it’s a threat. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

If you were not already convinced of the high-stakes nature of next year’s national election, one of Congress’s most prominent Republican leaders, Senator Lindsey Graham, offered a reminder that his party is coming after your health coverage if it gets in position to try it again, as the Hill reports:

“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.”

The pledge to move some money from godless liberal states to South Carolina is an allusion to a key feature of the bill Graham co-sponsored with Bill Cassidy in 2017, which, among other things, would reward states (in base funding for the new health-care “block grants” it would create) that refused to exercise their option under the Affordable Care Act to expand Medicaid. More centrally, of course, the Graham-Cassidy bill would make it easy for states to get rid of protections for those with preexisting health conditions and other inconvenient (if immensely popular) provisions of Obamacare.

Reminded that Republicans had failed earlier to abolish Obamacare despite trifecta control of the federal government, Graham hints that today’s 53-47 Republican Senate majority would get ’er done if his party can flip the House:

GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Rand Paul (Ky.) and the late Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) all opposed the bill. But Graham insists it would be different next time.

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

Anyone who is focused on the presidential race but not the battle for the Senate and House should be forewarned. Most Republicans will bob and weave and take other evasive actions before addressing their future plans for our health-care system; Graham is bragging about going back to the poisoned well of conservative health-care policy again. If you hear other Republicans begin to talk about it as well, it’s a clear sign they really are planning to make base mobilization their only strategy for 2020. For all we know, Obama birtherism could make a comeback.

Graham Reminds Us 2020 GOP Victory Means Obamacare Repeal