GOP Sen. Graham latest to sign up for Obamacare, refuse subsidy
December 9th, 2013
02:47 PM ET
4 months ago

GOP Sen. Graham latest to sign up for Obamacare, refuse subsidy

Updated 3:22 p.m ET, 12/9/2013

(CNN) - Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham has decided to sign up for federal health care coverage in the South Carolina exchange, rather than through the Washington, D.C., exchange where he would qualify for a federal subsidy offered to both lawmakers and congressional aides.

"I don't think members of Congress should get a special deal," Graham said in a press release.

"Obamacare is being pushed on the American people and we should live under it just like everyone else," he added.

A CNN survey of lawmakers shows that Graham is not alone: At least ten other senators are signing up through their state exchange windows and rebuffing the thousands of dollars they could get in premium help if they signed up in the D.C. exchange, where their job-related coverage would be triggered.

The majority of them, including Graham, are potentially vulnerable in reelection battles next year, either from the right or the left. That list is: Mark Begich, D-Alaska; Mike Enzi, R-Wyoming; Kay Hagan, D-North Carolina; Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana; Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon; and Mark Udall, D-Colorado.

One Republican–John Hoeven of North Dakota–-and two Democrats–-Michael Bennet of Colorado and Claire McCaskill of Missouri–-are not up for re-election this year, but are still signing up through their state instead of the congressional exchange window.”

Monday is the final day for lawmakers like Graham to sign up for health coverage through the D.C. health care exchange and for the subsidy that conservatives argue amounts to a taxpayer-funded break that others don't get.

While Republicans have not been as strong in their rhetoric to defund or delay Obamacare as of late, Graham warned that the Republican offensive is still fierce.

"The worst is yet to come, but I will continue my fight to repeal, replace, defund and allow Americans to opt-out of this horrible government program," Graham said.

The two-term South Carolina Senator is up for re-election in 2014.

- CNN Capitol Hill Reporter Lisa Desjardins contributed to this report.


Filed under: Health care • Lindsey Graham • Obamacare
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Warren

    but I will continue my fight to repeal, replace, defund and allow Americans to opt-out of this horrible government program," Graham said.

    And here we go again.....

    December 9, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    -"The worst is yet to come, but I will continue my fight to repeal, replace, defund and allow Americans to opt-out of this horrible government program," Graham said.

    .
    *****************
    I wish Graham would opt-out of his job so we don't have to lsiten to his transparent reason for opposing it:

    "The two-term South Carolina Senator is up for re-election in 2014."

    December 9, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. Silence DoGood

    " allow Americans to opt-out "

    "allow" as defined by the shadowy conservative groups out there to mean coerce, prod, lie, manipulate people into being scared of ACA so they are bullied into not signing up.
    - student anti-coampaign
    - fake websites
    - DDOS attacks
    - etc.

    December 9, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    "The worst is yet to come, but I will continue my fight to repeal, replace, defund and allow Americans to opt-out of this horrible government program," Graham said.
    -----------------------------------------–
    He made sure to throw in the "replace." Everyone else in his party is just calling for a repeal. No alternative solution to fix the underlying problem.

    December 9, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    "The worst is yet to come, but I will continue my fight to repeal, replace, defund and allow Americans to opt-out of this horrible government program," Graham said.
    ------------------------------–
    Replace it with what? The notion of crossing state lines is an insult to one's intelligence. Republicans are pushing the absurd idea that buying healthcare is like buying a loaf of bread. It's not. It's based upon your individual circumstances. Besides, "crossing state lines" literally means crossing state lines. Think about it. If sit in NY and order something from Texas, then I'm going to pay any applicable NY state and local taxes. Why? Because I made the purchase in NY, not TX.

    December 9, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  6. current state of the union

    I just know he's looking out for us.

    December 9, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    -Rudy NYC

    just asking

    i wonder how many thousands of oregonians have had their health insurance cancelled because of obamacare?
    ---------
    I wonder how many more thousands of people would get turned down for coverage without the Affordable Care Act?
    ****************
    Rudy, Rudy, Rudy: how quickly you forget those halcyon days when over 85% of Americans were satisfied with their health insurance: the remaining 15%? Well, they are already dying, so they never counted anyway, and besides, they are a drain on the funds for those tax cuts that left us swimming in full employment and they never would have vote for the GOP anyway. Who needs a government death panel when the private ones functioned so well for their investors?

    December 9, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  8. simplyput

    "Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian."

    Henry Ford
    Chief Sits on Fast Horse

    December 9, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. just asking

    The Real Tom Paine
    -just asking
    i wonder how many thousands of oregonians have had their health insurance cancelled because of obamacare?
    funny to listen to the lefties whine and complain about how many people could NOT be added to a failing medicaid system. people that have have it now can barely find anybody that takes it within 50 miles of them. the illusion of healthcare.
    ***************
    What is even funnier is how the Right is shifting the discussion away from the website to issues like " ..a failing medicaid system": has there been any prior concern on their part for Medicaid, aside from wanting to end it? Every time the politics of a situation are no longer breaking their way, they change the subject, rather like a group of children attempting to justify their poor choices to their parents.
    --

    i was responding to an earlier comment in this thread. i guess you don't read too well thanks to the failed liberal union controlled public school systems.

    and frankly, there are just sooo many problems out there concerning web sites rollouts, insurance cancellations, high cost exchange plans with high deductibles, young people not signing, sebelius incompetence, etc. it is just easy to get side tracked with so many democrat created disasters.

    December 9, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Silence DoGood

    " allow Americans to opt-out "
    ----------------------
    When I first heard that phrase used in the context of the ACA, they were talking about employer-based health insurance. Some employers are required to offer insurance. Right now the system is "opt-in", which means everyone is automatically opted into the program unless you sign a formal document declining the offer.

    I have heard about Republicans wanting to turn that process around, which would be a disaster. Instead of automatically including everyone, which requires the signed document if you decline, employers would no longer have to collect that proof from uncomverd workers that at least an offer of health insurance was made. This would make it simple for employers to offer nothing, and claim that no one took them up on their "offer" of health insurance coverage.

    December 9, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    simplyput

    "Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian."

    Henry Ford
    ----------------------------------
    "IF you ain't rich by now, then it's your own fault." Herman Cain, 2012 GOP Presidential campaign trail, drawing wild applause.

    December 9, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  12. Silence DoGood

    @just asking "young people not signing"

    This wouldn't have anything to do with the very aggressive costly conservative campaign to convince young people on college campuses NOT to sign up would it? Thugs and bullies with guns will not stop Freedom in this country. Google for quick details.

    December 9, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  13. ora pike

    Ezekiel Emanuel: If you like your doctor, you can pay for it THIS IS THE ARCHITECT OF OBAMACARE when he was under pressure from chris wallace about obamalies saying you like you doctor-YOU CAN KEEP YOUR DOCTOR.

    December 9, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. Tony

    First Michele Bachmann, then John Boehner, now Lindsey Graham are finding out that they are not exempt from Obamacare. So much for the Republican claim that Congress is exempt from Obamacare. Talk about blatant lying. In contrast, Obama's promise that "if you like your health insurance plan, you can keep it" is true for most Americans.

    December 9, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. jinx9to88

    "but I will continue my fight to repeal, replace, defund and allow Americans to opt-out of this horrible government program," Graham said." Notice how all GOP representatives have to say they will keep trying to repeal and replace the ACA. They have to keep saying it because the no nothing base they talk to actual believe they can overturn this law.

    December 9, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  16. simplyput

    @Rudy NYC
    "IF you ain't rich by now, then it's your own fault." When rubber donkeys start quoting Herman Cain to make a point, it's almost over. Many forked tongues on CNN comment sites. Never been to any GOP event, but Indy-Red now since not rich enough for subsidies, not poor enough for medicaid, and thrown into ACA hell hole with no possible means of escape. Yellow man in chief make many enemies. Rudy man getting desparate.

    December 9, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. simplyput

    Make that desperate...ice in wigwam freezing brain.

    December 9, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    -just asking

    The Real Tom Paine
    -just asking
    i wonder how many thousands of oregonians have had their health insurance cancelled because of obamacare?
    funny to listen to the lefties whine and complain about how many people could NOT be added to a failing medicaid system. people that have have it now can barely find anybody that takes it within 50 miles of them. the illusion of healthcare.
    ***************
    What is even funnier is how the Right is shifting the discussion away from the website to issues like " ..a failing medicaid system": has there been any prior concern on their part for Medicaid, aside from wanting to end it? Every time the politics of a situation are no longer breaking their way, they change the subject, rather like a group of children attempting to justify their poor choices to their parents.

    i was responding to an earlier comment in this thread. i guess you don't read too well thanks to the failed liberal union controlled public school systems.

    and frankly, there are just sooo many problems out there concerning web sites rollouts, insurance cancellations, high cost exchange plans with high deductibles, young people not signing, sebelius incompetence, etc. it is just easy to get side tracked with so many democrat created disasters.
    ***********************************************
    Actually, I'm a product of a private school that has been in business for a century, as well as a degree from a private university and the NY SUNY system, so you can your assumptions and shove them.

    Bear in mind, the ACA is YOUR people's response to the possibility of single payer. The fact that the GOP has done everything in its power to repeal it, hamstring the rollout, misdirect people to GOP sites that don't offer insurance and generally try to suppress enrollment is indicative of their fear that their own ideas will work in the hands of their politcal opponants and they will not get credit for it. And please don't act as though cancellations are an invention of Sibelius and Obama: the insurance industry has never had a problem cancelling anyone's coverage or denying them based upon the flimsiest of pretenses. Even in a state like Pennsylvania, with no state excahnge, people have the option of 24 plans through Aetna and Blue Cross: care to explain how having 24 plans to pick from is bad? Apparently, its only bad if Obama is the one making them available. Its really funny watching you whine and nitpick your way through the threads each day, each patheitc statement more ignorant and desperate than the last.

    December 9, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  19. sonny chapman

    Replace ? With what ? We're waiting.

    December 9, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    It's not a "special deal;" it's what most employers do for their employees for whom they offer insurance.

    Miss Lindsay is lying yet again ... *shock*

    December 9, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain

    @just asking and his comment about young people not signing up for Obamacare, here's something to consider from the UnitedHealthCare website regarding student health insurance (FAQ page):

    Q. I'm young and healthy. Why do I need health insurance?
    A. Despite your age and health, you never know when a serious injury or illness will strike. You're not invincible. And if you don't have insurance, who'll pay your bills? Do you have the money to pay $1,500 to fix a broken leg or $3,000 to stay in the hospital? Insurance gives you the peace of mind that, yes, most of your medical bills will be covered in case something happens.

    If insurance companies are encouraging young, healthy people to buy health insurance, why isn't the GOP?

    Does the GOP want young people to suffer financial hardship? Isn't the GOP encouraging irresponsibility by telling people to not buy insurance?

    Why is the GOP so actively working AGAINST people's self-interest?

    *crickets*

    December 9, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. Truck

    You HATERS need to stop, Obama-care will be creating over 20,000 new jobs.Because of Obama-care Dollar General and Wall-Mart are both opening medical facilities that will be able to meet your medical needs, and re-leave the undue burden off our medical system for pennies on the dollar. Thanks to the newly published books Doctors for Dummies, and all the homeless people they have taken into their program. Stop Hating and start supporting Obama and his system, just wait next year when his mandatory euthanize plan kicks in for all those over 71, this will surly fix Social Security.

    December 9, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. Gurgyl

    Why do these guys need SUBSIDY? We need to remove this clause. These idiots are not paupers, nor do these qualify for forma pauparis either.

    December 9, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    just asking posted:

    i was responding to an earlier comment in this thread. i guess you don't read too well thanks to the failed liberal union controlled public school systems.
    --------------------------
    It was a previous thread, and it is really hard to determine which comment you were responding to. Maybe because you weren't. You quoted no one, except for the usual right wing talking points.

    December 9, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  25. tom l

    @The Real TP,
    If you think the complaints about the ACA are about a website then I would suggest you read a little bit more. The website is the least of the concerns.

    December 9, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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