Health and Science

Trump calls lack of Obamacare repeal 'disgusting,' pessimistic on passing Graham-Cassidy bill

Key Points
  • President Donald Trump said the inability of Congress to repeal Obamacare after years of Republican promises is "disgusting."
  • Trump indicated he suspects the new Graham-Cassidy bill to be defeated because of expected opposition to it from Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.
  • Trump singled out Sen. John McCain of Arizona, and said the GOP lawmaker is "the only reason we don't have" Obamacare repeal as of now.
Trump calls lack of Obamacare repeal 'disgusting'

President Donald Trump called the failure of Congress to repeal Obamacare "disgusting" on Monday — and expressed deep pessimism that a latch-ditch Republican repeal effort will succeed.

Trump also said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is the sole reason for the inability of the Republican-controlled Senate to pass health-care reform legislation.

"You can call it what you want, but that's the only reason we don't have it, because of John McCain," Trump said on the "Rick and Bubba" radio show, which is based in Alabama and airs across the South, according to The Washington Post.

This reiterated Twitter posts blasting McCain over the weekend.

McCain in late July dramatically cast the third and fatal Republican vote against an earlier Obamacare repeal bill.

Last Friday, McCain said he will not vote for the Graham-Cassidy bill pending in the Senate, which must be voted on by Saturday if it is to pass under the rules of reconciliation that would allow the bill to be approved without 60 senators supporting it.

McCain: A bill of this impact requires a bipartisan approach

Republicans, who have a 52-seat majority in the Senate, need at least 50 GOP members to vote for Graham-Cassidy to pass it, given total opposition to Obamacare repeal efforts among Democrats and two independent senators. But they have struggled for months to come up with the required 50.

A spokesman for Sen. Rand Paull, R-Ky., on Monday said he remains opposed to Graham-Cassidy, even after the release of a new version of that bill earlier in the day.

That is despite the fact that the bill was tweaked expressly to give Kentucky, Arizona, Maine and Alaska more money than under the prior version of the bill.

All four states have senators who have either stated their opposition to the bill publicly, Paul and McCain, or are suspected of being opposed, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Trump, during his radio interview, acknowledged the likelihood that Collins would come out as the third GOP senator against the bill, dooming it to defeat.

"Looks like Susan Collins and some others will vote against it," Trump said. "So we're going to lose two or three votes, and that's the end of that."

The president said Americans are entitled to feel frustrated at Congress for not passing an Obamacare repeal as Republicans have promised for years.

"They should be," Trump said. "It's disgusting."

"When I ran, I was told I'd have a bill on my desk. I'd sign it on Day One."

"Now when it matters because you have a president who's actually going to sign it, they don't do it," Trump said. "And they pander, and they grandstand."

WATCH: Sen. Collins says she'll vote no on Graham-Cassidy

Sen. Susan Collins says she will vote no on Graham-Cassidy bill