Speed Reads

health-care debate

At town hall, Lindsey Graham says he'll 'press on' with his 'damn good' health-care proposal

Despite another Republican senator coming out against his health-care bill on Monday evening, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he will "press on" in an attempt to repeal ObamaCare, calling his proposal "a damn good idea."

"It's okay to vote," Graham said during a CNN town hall debate in Washington. "It's okay to fall short, if you do, for an idea you believe in."

Graham and his bill's co-author Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) squared off against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who argued that under the bill, millions of people will lose health insurance. The Graham-Cassidy plan calls for block grants to be sent to states so they can decide how to best help their residents, Graham and Cassidy said, but that's not a solution, Klobuchar responded — it merely "passes the buck to the states but doesn't give them the bucks to cover people." Sanders said that no one in Washington wants to see people die, but "you tell me what happens when somebody who has cancer, somebody who has a serious heart condition, somebody who has a life-threatening disease suddenly loses the health insurance they have."

There was one moment of unity: During the debate, President Trump tweeted a video of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) discussing repealing and replacing ObamaCare, mocking him for coming out against Graham-Cassidy last week. Graham, who counts McCain as a close friend, snapped that "John McCain can do whatever damn he wants to! He has earned that right."

Sanders said he had no idea how Trump could blast McCain, "one of the most decent people in the U.S. Senate."