Top GOP senators make Obamacare repeal demands

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Republican Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, along with two other GOP senators, said Thursday that they won’t vote for the latest attempt to repeal and replace ObamaCare unless a specific demand is met.

The four GOP lawmakers want hard assurances that if they help pass the so-called “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act that there will then be thorough negotiations with the House of Representatives on a final version of the bill.

Republican Senate leaders have promised that the “skinny repeal” — which could reportedly leave 16 million uninsured — is just a place holder for a better heath law to be hammered out with the House at a later date.

McCain, Graham and the two others are unhappy with the “skinny repeal” as it is written and fear that the House will just pass it, leaving them responsible for inadvertently creating a policy they don’t agree with.

“The skinny bill as policy is a disaster,” Graham said Monday. “The skinny bill as a replacement for Obamacare is a fraud. . . I’m not going to vote for a pig in a poke.”

Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who will also vote no on the repeal without assurances of further talks, also blasted the bill.

“The skinny bill in the Senate doesn’t come close to meeting our promises,” he said.

Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana also said he is a no vote without assurances. The GOP leadership, under Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, needs at least 50 votes from their 52-member GOP caucus to pass the bill with a tie-breaker from Vice President Mike Pence.

No Democrats have signaled any support for the legislation.