Nation & World

President Trump cheers long-shot Senate effort to revisit Affordable Care Act repeal

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) speaks as Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) listen during a news conference on health care on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) speaks as Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) listen during a news conference on health care on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

President Donald Trump praised a long-shot Senate effort Wednesday to take another crack at eliminating the Affordable Care Act.

“I applaud the Senate for continuing to work toward a solution to relieve the disastrous Obamacare burden on the American people,” Trump said in a statement issued by the White House.

He was referring to a proposal from Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina that would provide block grants to states for health care and eliminate many of the subsidies and requirements of the ACA.

“If you believe repealing and replacing Obamacare is a good idea, this is your best and only chance to make it happen because everything else has failed except this approach,” the Associated Press quoted Graham as saying as he and Cassidy introduced the legislation Wednesday.

Trump has repeatedly blasted Senate Republicans, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in particular, for failing to finally “repeal and replace” the 2010 law this year, despite myriad promises to do so. The Cassidy-Graham bill faces obstacles including internal divisions among Republicans and a very short window before Congress plans to leave town.

“My Administration has consistently worked to enact legislation that repeals and replaces Obamacare, and that can pass the Senate and make it to my desk,” Trump said.

He called the health-care law “a complete nightmare for the many Americans who have been devastated by its skyrocketing healthcare premiums and deductibles and canceled or shrinking plans,” assertions that most Democrats and some Republicans dispute.

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“As I have continued to say, inaction is not an option, and I sincerely hope that Senators Graham and Cassidy have found a way to address the Obamacare crisis,” Trump said.

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