Republican lawmakers reacted publicly with surprise; privately, many in the GOP’s political class were horrified that Trump would move to restart a health-care campaign that fell short when the GOP controlled all of Congress—and backfired by propelling Democrats into the House majority in the 2018 midterm.
“Just when you think they know what they’re doing,” one top GOP operative, who worked on the 2018 campaigns, said sarcastically of his party’s abrupt turn back into the health care debates…
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a key ally of the president, co-authored the GOP’s unsuccessful last-ditch repeal-and-replace bill alongside Cassidy. But he too seemed to dismiss the most recent push as a fool’s errand.
“We had the whole conversation last time about repeal-and-replace,” Graham told reporters. “My belief is that we need a new approach,” he added, saying any health-care reforms should be “state-centric.”