Over the last month, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) have fought tooth and nail for their health care bill, which was meant to replace the Affordable Care Act. The two senators tried their hardest to rush the bill through the Senate by Friday, September 30, so that they would only need 50 votes instead of the regular 60. However, it was announced on Tuesday that, despite their efforts, they still would not have the support needed.
Considering the amount of time and energy that Graham and Cassidy have put into trying to get a vote on the bill, one would think that they truly understood and believed in everything that would happen under it. However, Graham revealed on Wednesday that, for him, that was definitely not the case.
According to The Intercept, Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill that, while trying to pass the bill has been “the most amazing journey of [his] life,” he actually has had no idea what he was doing for the last few weeks.
‘It’s been the most amazing journey of my life. I’ve taken the eye off the ball on terrorism, I’m just amazed the whole planet hasn’t crumbled because I wasn’t on it.
‘Nobody in our conference believes Obamacare works. It must be replaced. But until now we didn’t know how to do it.’
After Graham made this comment, a reporter asked him:
‘You’ve been working to overhaul this for seven years. Why is this so hard?’
‘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.’
Graham also said that he has “enjoyed” his crash course in health care policy.
‘I’ve enjoyed this more than anything. I’ve learned so much about health care in other states — Pennsylvania, Alaska, Ohio. South Carolina, we have 11 predominantly African-American counties that have unique healthcare 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.’
The senator later admitted that the idea for the bill “came about from a conversation at a barber shop.”
‘So, this idea came about from a conversation at a barbershop. 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?’
It’s hard to say which is more troubling: the fact that Graham knew so little about health care while he was pushing for his and Cassidy’s bill, or the fact that he has spoken about his lack of knowledge so cavalierly, as though the lives of millions of Americans weren’t almost ruined as a result of his ignorance.
One thing is certain, though: President Trump isn’t the only one who “never knew health care could be so complicated.”
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.