In it, but not of it. TPM DC

GOP Sens Admit: Goal Of Changing Health Care Law Is To Kill It


Graham has teamed up with Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) on legislation that would allow states to opt out of the farthest-reaching provisions of health care reform: the Medicaid expansion, minimum insurance benefit standards and the individual and employer mandates. Any state that successfully opted out of any of these provisions would diminish the extent of health care coverage in their state, and throw a wrench in the machinery of the law system itself.

But that's the goal!

"The number one goal is to repeal and replace," Barrasso told reporters, standing alongside Graham.

The two are circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter, and trying to drum up bipartisan support for the measure. Republicans are currently hoping to use upcoming FAA legislation as a vehicle to vote on legislation like this, introduced as amendments.

Notably, Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Scott Brown (R-MA) have proposed allowing states to opt out of the law by 2014 if they meet the health care law's existing coverage and cost standards.

But that's not enough for Senate Republicans, all of whom have cosponsored Sen. Jim DeMint's (R-SC) repeal legislation. Brown himself said he'd still support repeal if his measure passed, and Barrasso shunted it. "That doesn't give the states the option to opt out. That just says they have to live under Obamacare, and they can then run it themselves."

About The Author


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at