On Tuesday, Vox interviewed nine Republican senators about the Graham-Cassidy bill, the GOP's last-ditch effort to repeal ObamaCare. Republicans have until Sept. 30 to pass the bill with a simple majority vote, but 10 days out they seemed to be struggling to pin down exactly why the Graham-Cassidy bill should pass.
Though senators generally agreed that the bill would return power to the states, they had less to say on the finer points of how this could happen without millions of Americans losing insurance coverage and why the bill calls for such drastic cuts to federal spending.
- Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) on why Graham-Cassidy makes "things better" for Americans:
"Look, we're in the back seat of a convertible being driven by Thelma and Louise, and we're headed toward the canyon. That's a movie that you've probably never seen — "
"I do know Thelma and Louise, sir."
"So we have to get out of the car, and you have to have a car to get into, and this is the only car there is." [Vox]
- Sen. Richard Shelby, on the bill's proposed cuts to federal funding for states by 34 percent over the next decade: "But it wouldn't cut Alabama, though."
- Roberts on why Republicans are pushing a bill that could cause millions to lose insurance: "If we do nothing, it has a tremendous impact on the 2018 elections."
- Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) on what this bill does "right, policy-wise":
"I think it's an improvement over ObamaCare."
"My position has always been that, number one, I think ObamaCare has been a failure.
Number two: First chance I get to vote for repeal it, I'll do it.
And number three: If it's replacement, if replacement is better than ObamaCare, I will vote for it." [Vox]
- Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) on how he knows the "savings" from federal funding cuts "will be close to enough to protect everyone": "Well, nothing protects everyone."