Some days bring great news. Other days bring news that generates a different class of feelings and reactions. Our readers can decide how this update contributes in either category.
On Monday, August 5, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) did a radio interview with Joey Hudson of the Morning Answer on FM 94.5 in Greenville. During the interview, Graham spoke heartening words:
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 …
We’ve got to remind people that we’re not for ObamaCare.
Graham went on to outline the kind of repeal he’s talking about, one that would explicitly refuse to keep afloat state programs that have flocked heavily to Medicaid expansions. The Hill summarizes it here:
The [Graham] bill would essentially shift money from states like California that expanded Medicaid to states that didn’t, like South Carolina. Such a move could force some states to cut health care services and reduce eligibility.
“If we could get the money back to the states, Democratic policies would be tested against our policies,” Graham said.
Some Republican voters will probably focus on the negative here. Graham’s bill was initially proposed in 2017, when Republicans had a majority in both houses of Congress, and it was shelved at the time because it didn’t have enough support.
The Senate’s compromise effort to repeal Obamacare failed by one vote in 2017, a failure widely attributed to John McCain. (Although the news story cites the defection of three Republicans, one more vote to repeal would have created a 50-50 tie, which Vice President Pence would then have broken in favor of repeal.)
Other Republicans would reflect sourly on the loss of Jeff Sessions’s old seat in Alabama, when Democrat Doug Jones defeated controversial GOP candidate Roy Moore. With one more solid Republican vote in the Senate, a McCain vote wouldn’t have been needed for any attempt at repeal.
Such peevish Republicans would be skeptical that the GOP will ever have the gumption and unity to repeal Obamacare. They’re likely to make caustic jokes in which the voters figure as Charlie Brown, and the Republican leadership as Lucy with the football.
But those voters would be discounting the X factor of Graham himself, who earned the nickname “Lindsey 2.0” during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings in the fall of 2018. An incensed Graham dressed down his Democratic colleagues in no uncertain terms on September 27, 2018, after seeing weeks of underhanded tactics from them trying to defame Kavanaugh.
Graham later demanded an investigation into how Democrat Dianne Feinstein had handled allegations made against Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford – another uncharacteristic move on his part.
And after a narrow, contentious Senate vote to confirm Kavanaugh, Graham tweeted an allusion to a Trump slogan: “I’m not tired of winning … Victory!”
I’m not tired of winning……..Victory! pic.twitter.com/ZAhmFVh9LH
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 6, 2018
Only time will tell if such bursts of enthusiasm will be enough to actually repeal Obamacare.