- The Washington Times - Friday, September 22, 2017

Sen. John Kennedy said Friday that he’s anticipating a long night of voting next week for the Republican health care plan.

“There are going to be a lot of amendments. We’re going to be there all day and all night, maybe two days in a row. So I want to see what the amendments do. Number two, I say this to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, if people start making special deals and certain states get special treatment at the expense of my state, I’m going to be very unamused,” Mr. Kennedy, Louisiana Republican, said on CNN.

Mr. Kennedy said he supports the Graham-Cassidy bill, but says additional amendments could sway his vote. The Graham-Cassidy bill is the Republican’s replacement plan for Obamacare, which gives states the funding in block grants while repealing the current mandates. Democrats have criticized the plan for not ensuring enough protections for those with pre-existing conditions. Some Republicans, like Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, are also unhappy with the plan saying it keeps too much of the current law in place.

“The Affordable Care Act is not perfect, nor is Graham-Cassidy. There is no free lunch. You’re not going to get one with this bill. But the litmus test for me is, is the replacement better than the Affordable Care Act?” Mr. Kennedy said.

Republicans are planning to vote on the bill next week in order to try and pass the legislation under a simple majority before their reconciliation expires on Sept. 30.

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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