Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) told reporters on Friday that he almost has the votes to pass his Republican coalition’s new legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare through block grants.
Cassidy said, “I am pretty confident we’ll get there on the Republican side. We’re probably at 48-49 [votes] and talking to two or three more.”
Republicans have a short window of opportunity to repeal and replace Obamacare. Only until the end of the month can they use budgetary reconciliation to pass an Obamacare repeal bill with a simple majority in the Senate.
The new Obamacare repeal bill, sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bill Cassidy, Dean Heller (R-NV), and Ron Johnson (R-WI), would repeal Obamacare’s individual and employer mandate. The bill would also rescind Obamacare’s medical device tax and deliver health care to the states so that Republican states can devise more conservative and affordable health care systems compared to the Affordable Care Act.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said on Thursday that he will do a “whip count” on the Graham-Cassidy bill to figure out the legislation’s level of support.
“What I told Senator Graham is we would work to try to get a sense of where people were … so my hope is we’ll get that preliminary information back in the next few days,” Cornyn explained.
The legislation, otherwise known as Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson (GCHJ), continues to gain momentum. Sen. Graham revealed to Breitbart News that at least 14 governors support the Obamacare repeal legislation. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said that the Graham-Cassidy legislation was a “vast improvement over the Affordable Care Act.”
President Donald Trump applauded Graham and Cassidy’s efforts to repeal Obamacare.
Sens. Graham and Cassidy made a presentation on Graham-Cassidy during a closed-door GOP caucus lunch on Thursday. Graham was encouraged b Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s response during the lunch.
Graham said, “He encouraged everybody to jump on board … I’m very pleased with the leader’s response. I can tell you this: if we had a vote right now we would get 47, 48 votes.”