Obamacare sucks declared US Senator Lindsey Graham (R - S.C.) this morning in an interview about the possibility of a government shutdown over the heathcare law's defunding. See embed above.
Graham's comments are perhaps surprising in that he usually goes along with his close friend John McCain and other "business as usual" lawmakers.
While he supported the effort to defund Obamacare in the House of Representatives, the senator predicted that no government shutdown will occur over Obamacare, a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act. Additional provisions of the law might be postponed, however, as some Democrats come around to his way of thinking because the political burden will be too much for them to handle in the run-up to an election.
In an ongoing series of polls, Obamacare continues to be very unpopular with the American people.
Graham said that he expects all the Republican senators to vote to pull government funding from Obamacare and most if not all of the majority Democrats to vote to fully fund the law, which will become the defining issue of the 2014 election. "This is an albatross around [the Democrats] neck. Obamacare is going over like a lead balloon in the economy..."
Despite the scorn that has been heaped on Sen.Ted Cruz and others from some quarters, the defunding effort could have a positive outcome according to Graham -- who likely is not a Cruz fan per se. Rather than a filibuster, he contended that Democrats and Republicans can come together "to find a way to delay parts of Obamacare, maybe repeal the medical device tax that is hurting that part of the economy... Obamacare will take a hit, but it won't be defunded. I don't think the government is going to shut down; there will deal doing something to delay the individual mandate maybe a year -- might be a good compromise."
When FNC anchor Bill Hemmer presented a litany of other Obamacare provisions that have already been put on hold, including but not limited to the employer mandate, Sen. Graham said this
this bill sucks... it really does. And it's really an albatross around our Democratic friends. And they will slowly but surely, if we don't screw this thing up, come to us, because it is more than they can carry in the election cycle in 2014 and 2016."Added Graham: "[Obamacare] is beginning to collapse economically; people are losing jobs, getting part-time employment, healthcare costs are going up. It's not playing well in the real world. Eventually it will hit Washington. We just need to be patient...keep fighting, but fight smart."
Separately, it appears that consumers may have less rather than more access to healthcare professionals under Obamacare. According to the New York Times, "From California to Illinois to New Hampshire, and in many states in between, insurers are driving down premiums by restricting the number of providers who will treat patients in their new health plans... Some consumer advocates and health care providers are increasingly concerned. Decades of experience with Medicaid, the program for low-income people, show that having an insurance card does not guarantee access to specialists or other providers."