Jul 13, 2017

Lindsey Graham's health care idea: Turn it over to the states

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Sen. Lindsey Graham is out with a new approach to replacing the Affordable Care Act: Turn the money over to the states and let them handle it. He's pitching it as a backup plan that could appeal to Republicans who want to see the ACA replaced and Democrats who just want to see it repaired — because states could decide which route to take.

The main points of his proposal, which he worked on with Sen. Bill Cassidy:

  • All federal spending on ACA health insurance — $110 billion in 2016 — would be turned over to the states.
  • Insurers would still have to cover pre-existing conditions.
  • Most of the ACA taxes, except the one on medical devices, would stay in place.

Why it matters: It's less about whether Graham's proposal gains traction, and more about the fact that he's one more example of Senate Republicans veering off in different directions. Graham is trying to position his plan to get a closer look if the main Senate health care bill fails.

Go deeper

Sanders to Putin: You won't interfere in any more elections if I'm president

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Sen. Bernie Sanders sent a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the debate stage Tuesday, stating, "If I'm president of the United States, trust me, you're not going to interfere in any more American elections."

The big picture: It was unveiled last week that Russia has been interfering to boost Sanders' campaigns in an apparent attempt to strengthen President Trump's bid for reelection. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that "Vladimir Putin thinks that Donald Trump should be president of the United States, and that's why Russia is helping [Sanders] get elected.

Debate night: Candidates' last face-off before Super Tuesday

Sanders, Biden, Klobuchar and Steyer in South Carolina on Feb. 25. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to keep his momentum after winning New Hampshire and Nevada, while former Vice President Joe Biden hopes to keep his own campaign alive. The other five candidates are just trying to hang on.

What's happening: Seven contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination are in Charleston, South Carolina, for the tenth debate, just days before the South Carolina primary and a week before Super Tuesday.

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