Trump Likes His Odds For Obamacare Repeal In 2018

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter

One of the key Republican holdouts on the recent bill to repeal Obamacare will “be there” for him on the next attempt to upend the American health care system, President Donald Trump said Wednesday evening.

The president was speaking about GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who was opposed to the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal Obamacare and change the system’s funding mechanism to a system of block grants.

“I think Rand will be there for us. He was there for me two times before. I like Rand Paul a lot and I think he’ll be there for me,” Trump told reporters Wednesday evening at the White House after returning from a tax reform speech in Indiana. “He’s a good guy and he wants what’s good also for the party. I think Rand will be there.”

Paul has been a hard “no” since the bill’s inception, and it is hard to see a way that leadership can garner his vote in the last few days before the Sept. 30 budget reconciliation deadline. The Kentucky senator told The Daily Caller News Foundation last week that he did not support the Graham-Cassidy bill, and that he has been working with the administration for the past six months on his own bill to reform health care.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pulled Republican’s latest iteration of an Obamacare repeal Tuesday afternoon, after four Republican senators announced they would vote against the party’s eleventh-hour push to upend the American health care system.

“We haven’t given up on changing the American health care system,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday at the Capitol. “We aren’t going to be able to do it this week. But it still lies ahead of us, and we haven’t given up on that.”

Republicans have indeed not given up on repealing Obamacare; they have simply postponed it to 2018, according to comments Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told TheDCNF.

“What I would expect is that we take a clear shot at taxes. We’ll use the time to come up with a better process for health care,” Graham told TheDCNF. “We will have a debate worthy of a great country and when taxes are over early next year, which is what I envision, we’ll go back to repealing and replacing Obamacare.”

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