- The Washington Times - Monday, March 31, 2014

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Monday that Democrats will change their tune about repealing and replacing Obamacare “when they lose elections.”

Mr. Graham, South Carolina Republican, made his prediction to Fox News as the Obama administration scrambles to get as many enrollees as possible to pick a private health plan before the overhaul’s deadline late Monday.

While the White House sounded upbeat about the law’s prospects, GOP operatives and lawmakers doubled down on their belief that the law’s troubles will sway November’s midterm elections.

“The worst is yet to come,” Mr. Graham said, saying Democrats’ shaky promises about the law amount to “a trust issue.”

He said Republicans should retain some elements of the health care law, such as letting young adults stay on their parents’ plans until age 26, but dismantle most of the law and start over with a workable plan.

He said special risk pools should be set up to help people with preexisting medical conditions, instead of placing a mandate on Americans to get health insurance and spread out sicker consumers’ costs. He also said people should be allowed to shop for health insurance across state lines.

“You can’t fix Obamacare, you’ve got to start over,” he said.

Supporters of President Obama’s law are cheering signs the overhaul may bring in close to 7 million enrollees in its first year, but Mr. Graham said the administration’s figures are not telling the full story.

“Tell me how many people who’ve signed up for Obamacare have paid,” he said. “How many previously uninsured? … They can’t tell you the basics about the numbers.”