“I thought everybody else knew what the hell they were talking about, but apparently not.”
Now that the Republicans’ latest attempt to repeal Obamacare is dead, at least one of them is finally ready to confess. Lindsey Graham, the lead author of their most recent failed bill, Graham-Cassidy, admitted on Tuesday that he had no idea what he was doing.
But Graham says that he was not alone in his ignorance about healthcare. “Nobody in our conference believes Obamacare works. It must be replaced. But until now, we didn’t know how to do it,” he told reporters.
A reporter pointed out that the Republicans have been working on this for seven years. “Why is this so hard?” she asked.
Graham answered, “Well, I’ve been doing it for about a month. I thought everybody else knew what the hell they were talking about, but apparently not.” He said that his Republican colleagues have all just been assuming that “these really smart people will figure it out.”
Graham marvelled over how much he’s learned over the past couple weeks; though, based on his bill, it’s clear that he still doesn’t have much of a clue.
“I’ve enjoyed this more than anything. I’ve learned so much about health care in other states — Pennsylvania, Alaska, Ohio,” he said. Apparently Graham didn’t even know anything about healthcare in his own state. He said that he had learned that in “South Carolina, we have 11 predominantly African-American counties that have unique health care needs and one size doesn’t fit all, even within your state. I looked at the history of welfare reform, and I think we can replicate that here.”
After Graham-Cassidy failed this week, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski put out a statement congratulating her colleagues for finally learning a thing or two. She said, “Senator Graham and Senator Cassidy now have a much deeper understanding of Alaska’s unique challenges, needs, and opportunities than they did prior to this effort. I feel Senator [Dan] Sullivan and I have made good headway in educating our colleagues and the administration.”
Remarkably, when Graham finally realized that his fellow Republicans were clueless about healthcare, he went to, of all people, Rick Santorum for help crafting his new bill.
“So, this idea came about from a conversation at a barber shop,” Graham said. “Rick Santorum — I was getting my hair cut and he says, you know, you’ve got an opt-out bill — opt out of Obamacare if you don’t like it, take the money and do state-controlled systems. Why don’t you do what we did with welfare reform in ’96, which is basically take the same amount of money and block grant it?”
I hate to point out the obvious here, but when Santorum was in the Senate he didn’t know any more about healthcare than Donald Trump knows now.
It’s nice to see Graham admitting now that for the past seven years he and his party have been full of crap. But, unfortunately, it seems that they still haven’t learned much. Graham somehow still thinks that his bill is a good idea. He said, “We now have an idea that I think Republicans understand, and the average person can understand.”