- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 1, 2017


Lindsey Graham is today’s Republican man with the plan — the guy who’s stepping forward in the Senate to say: “I am, like, 1,000 percent with Donald Trump” on Obamacare.

Smart move. He’s tested the political winds of moving on from Obamacare repeal and found them lacking.

“I am, like, 1,000 percent with Donald Trump on this,” Grahamsaid of Obamacare repeal, during an interview on Fox News. “We should be politically horsewhipped is we don’t try again.”

Well, no duh to that.

When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, post-Senate vote-down of repeal, that it was “time to move on” from Obamacare, both the White House and conservative Americans said: Oh no you don’t.

Graham at least is listening.

He went over key details of his plan, forged with Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, on national TV, and they go like this: Federal dollars set aside for Obamacare would be sent to states to spend, by way of block grants. The much-hated mandates on individuals and employers would be repealed; the equally despised medical device tax would be booted. And health insurers would still have to cover pre-existing conditions.

Other Obamacare taxes would remain intact, however.

So the plan’s far from perfect — and it’s certainly not a complete return of medical insurance to the free market and simultaneous admission that government has no business being in the health care business in the first place. 

But it does have some positives.

“That ends single-payer health care,” Graham said. “The government closest to the people is the best government. The health care closest to the people is the best health care.”

Yes, and the health care left to the devices of the private market and people to decide is the even bestest of best health care of all. But that ship seems to have sailed.

So there’s really just one question left to answer about Graham’s newfound push to repeal and replace: Where does Sen. John McCain stand on it?

The Arizonan just derailed the last Senate plan. Let’s hope McCain’s learned, in the wake of the mass outrage he created by voting a thumbs-down to the Senate’s recently failed repeal, the same lesson as Graham: The American people want a repeal.

And they’re not, as McConnell unwisely remarked, prepared to “move on” until they get it.

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