While President Donald Trump and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have butt heads many times in the past, the two came together on Wednesday over a new piece of legislation by Graham and a slew of other GOP lawmakers that will repeal and replace Obamacare using block grants.
Graham, alongside Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Dean Heller (R-NV), unveiled a bill known as Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson (GCHJ) on Wednesday. The legislation would repeal the individual and employer mandates and the medical device tax established by Obamacare while also directly funding states to create their own health care systems.
The proposed bill has already been championed by a number of Republican leaders, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. Trump’s endorsement was the icing on the cake.
“I applaud the Senate for continuing to work toward a solution to relieve the disastrous Obamacare burden on the American people. My Administration has consistently worked to enact legislation that repeals and replaces Obamacare, and that can pass the Senate and make it to my desk,” the president said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Obamacare has been a complete nightmare for the many Americans who have been devastated by its skyrocketing healthcare premiums and deductibles and canceled or shrinking plans. As I have continued to say, inaction is not an option, and I sincerely hope that Senators Graham and Cassidy have found a way to address the Obamacare crisis,” he concluded.
In announcing GCHJ, Graham took aim at Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), whose vision for a universal health care system resonated with the progressive wing of the Democratic party during the 2016 primary.
“Bernie, this ends your dream of a single-payer healthcare system,” he said, with Cassidy noting that Democrats have been reluctant to compromise on the proposed legislation.
Johnson described GCHJ as “our last chance” and pointed to the people across the country whose premiums spiked under Obamacare.
“Wisconsin’s premiums doubled under Obamacare. In many cases, premiums have tripled,” he said. “Those men and women, the forgotten men, won’t be forgotten under GCHJ. For my Republican colleagues, this is our last shot. Perfect should never be the enemy of the good.”