(National Sentinel)Â Healthcare Reform: Sen. Lindsey Graham expressed confident on Friday that a health reform measure he co-sponsored with Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana will get the votes it needs to pass, despite self-declared GOP holdouts Sens. Rand Paul and John McCain.
“Iâ€™ll be honest with you, Iâ€™ve never been more excited than I am right now. We need 50 votes to get this over the finish line. The president has been working like a tiger. The vice president, Mitch McConnellâ€™s going to give us a vote,” the South Carolina Republican toldÂ Fox News‘ “Special Report” Thursday evening.
Graham said he was confident that the bill would get 50 Republican votes and “a couple of Democrats.”
“And I can tell you this, if you want money and power out of Washington, you want to end the march to single-payer health care, this is your last, best chance,” he said.
“This is the biggest change in health care in my lifetime. This is federalism versus socialism. I think weâ€™re going to get 50 Republicans to vote for federalism. And Iâ€™ll make a prediction, a couple of Democrats are going to come on board because their state does so well.â€
In addition to Paul and McCain, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is also uncertain she will support the Graham-Cassidy bill.
If passed, the measure takes the tax money collected under Obamacare and sends it to states in block grants, giving state legislatures and governors flexibility in how the money is spent.
Also, the bill repeals the tax on medical devices and ends the employer and individual mandates to purchase health insurance.
Republicans only have until the end of September to pass the measure under reconciliation, a Senate rule that allows bills to pass on a simple majority. The process can only be used once a year; the GOP wants to use the process to pass tax reform next year so if health care reform isn’t doneÂ this year, it’ll be after 2018 before Republicans will have another opportunity.
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