South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham promised to a home state audience on Thursday that if Republicans take control of the House in 2020, the Affordable Care Act — known popularly as ObamaCare — will be a distant memory.
According to The Hill, during an interview with a South Carolina radio station, Graham promised that the state he represents will be the biggest winner if and when ObamaCare is repealed.
“If we can get the House back and keep our majority in the Senate, and President Trump wins reelection, I can promise you not only are we going to repeal ObamaCare, we’re going to do it in a smart way where South Carolina will be the biggest winner,” Graham said.
The senator tried to get a repeal bill passed in 2017. The bill would have nixed large sections of ObamaCare, including the section which offers subsidies that help low-income people in dozens of states afford the Medicaid expansion option, according to The Hill.
His bill was tabled at the time due to a perceived lack of support in the Senate, which upset many on the right, due to the fact that, at the time, Republicans controlled both the House and Senate, along with the White House.
Graham’s bill would move money from states that expanded Medicaid to states, like his own, that didn’t. The move would potentially reduce various healthcare services and limit eligibility in states like California who opted for the Medicaid expansion.
The senator argued that making the move would test Democrat policies against those of the GOP — a move which he claimed scares the Democratic party as the 2020 election inches closer.
“This scares the hell out of the Democrats. This is what 2020 is about,” Graham said.
Their attempts to repeal ObamaCare leading up to the 2018 election was reportedly a contributing factor as to why the GOP lost the House at the time. Many Democratic candidates ran on the idea of protecting the bill, and part of their strategy involved accusing their GOP counterparts of attempting to strip coverage from those with pre-existing conditions.
— The Hill (@thehill) August 8, 2019
But with the 2020 election looming, many Democratic hopefuls have shifted to promoting various versions of Medicare For All, with the exception of former Vice President Joe Biden, who has repeatedly called for shoring up ObamaCare.
Though a small number of Republican senators opposed Graham’s repeal attempt in 2017, including the late Sen. John McCain, Graham insisted that the next attempt would have a different outcome.
“We were one vote short in the Senate,” Graham said, referring to what happened in 2017.