The Senate GOP fight to repeal ObamaCare might not be over yet

Lindsey Graham.
(Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Graham-Cassidy, the latest Senate Republican effort to repeal large parts of the Affordable Care Act and transform Medicaid, appeared to have died its final death on Monday evening, when Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) joined Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in stating her intention to vote no on the bill if it comes up for a vote this week. The Senate GOP's ability to pass a health-care bill with just 50 Republican votes, through the budget reconciliation process, ends Saturday, and Republicans have committed to using next fiscal year's budget resolution to pass tax reform with only GOP votes. But in theory, Republicans could combine health care and tax reform in the same budget vehicle, and that idea is gaining steam.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), both sponsors of Graham-Cassidy, are pushing to combine tax reform and health care, and both Sen. Paul and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) are among those interested in the idea. Others, including GOP House tax leaders, are wary of threatening tax reform by mixing it up with an ObamaCare repeal effort that has thwarted Republicans all year. "I think we need to move onto tax reform," said Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), adding about Graham-Cassidy: "I think this bill's dead."

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.