Lindsey Graham Says He’s Not Confident Health Care Reform Will Happen This Year

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is the latest member in the upper chamber to express doubts health care reform will happen this year.

While Senate GOP leadership has said they are confident a bill will be passed by August, Graham said there are a number of sticking points — including how to tackle Medicaid expansion — that have yet to be ironed out.

“I don’t think there will be (a comprehensive health care bill this year). I don’t think we can put it together among ourselves,” he told reporters Monday. “I’ve always believed let Obamacare collapse; get the Democrats to help us fix it. That’s always been my preferred route.”

Graham’s comments echo those of GOP Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona, who also cast doubt on whether members could craft legislation that could pass before their summer recess.

“I don’t see a comprehensive health-care plan this year,” Burr told WXII 12 News, adding his main focus is getting people back to work.

Flake recently said “he has a hard time believing” they will get something through by August.

The House passed its Obamacare repeal and replacement legislation in early May, which is largely expected to be rewritten in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put together a 13-person working group tasked with reworking the bill.

Leadership is expected to unveil their options for major provisions of the legislation at their weekly lunch Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reports.

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