- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sen. Lindsey Graham says he thinks the votes will be there to pass Obamacare repeal legislation he’s introduced with Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, saying they’re trying to devolve money and power out of Washington and return it to the states.

“I think we’re going to get the votes,” the South Carolina Republican said in an interview that aired Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “We’re moving forward and we’ll see what happens.”

“I’m very excited about it. We finally found an alternative that makes sense — take the money and power out of Washington — the same amount of money [we] would have spent on Obamacare and let states design systems,” he said.

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“Because if you keep replicating Obamacare, even at the state level, you’re going to get the same outcome,” Mr. Graham said. “Flexibility and innovation is what we’re seeking.”

The legislation would do away with Obamacare’s individual mandate requiring most Americans to buy health insurance or pay a fine. It also would take money earmarked for the law’s Medicaid expansion and return it to states in the form of block grants.

Republicans can afford no more than two defections in the Senate to pass the legislation, assuming no Democrats support it.

Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Rand Paul of Kentucky already have announced their opposition, leaving the GOP little margin for error. Mr. McCain, along with Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, helped doom the last big repeal push over the summer.

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