ThinkProgress

GOP senator says it doesn’t matter how bad the latest Obamacare replacement is – he’s voting for it

Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, arrives at the Capitol. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley thinks that Republicans have a “responsibility” to repeal the affordable care act, even if it leaves the country worse off.

Speaking with reporters in his home state of Iowa, Grassley argued that the GOP had campaigned on repealing Obamacare so much that they were left with no choice but to carry out their promises.

“I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered,” Grassley told the Des Moines Register. “But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That’s pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill.”

But Grassley also admitted that Graham-Cassidy bill wouldn’t help solve the rising premiums or limited choice on the Iowa health insurance market. He insisted however that the GOP would make a success of the repeal.

“What might fit Massachusetts and New York and Maryland doesn’t fit Iowa very well,” Grassley said. “We’re going to give states the opportunity to deliver health care more efficiently and effectively, and in a more affordable manner then Obamacare has in the past.”

But an analysis released by health consulting firm Avalere on Wednesday showed that there would be a loss of $215 billion over ten years, which would ultimately decrease funding for every state.

In comparison to Alaska and Arizona, two of the hardest hit states, Iowa escapes relatively unscathed. But it would still lose $28 billion in federal funding between 2020 and 2036,  a decrease of 27 percent. GOP officials insisted that the states’ flexibility would help offset the losses.

The last-ditch attempt to repeal Obamacare has Republicans rushing to get a bill through reconciliation. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will only be able to provide a “preliminary assessment” of the Graham-Cassidy bill, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is still expected to bring the bill to the floor without full CBO data.

Other Republicans have struggled to explain why they were risking millions losing their health insurance in their last-ditch effort to repeal and replace Obamacare — other then the fact that not doing so would affect their chances in the 2018 midterms.

“If we do nothing, it has tremendous impact on the 2018 elections,” Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) told Vox. “And whether or not Republicans still maintain control and we have the gavel.”