UPDATE: Here’s a more in-depth summary of today’s press conference via CNN:
As of Thursday afternoon, the text of the Republican bill that would scrap Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates remained unseen by senators or the public, but it was discussed during a closed-door lunch and an outline of it has been circulating among lawmakers and lobbyists.
The GOP’s overwhelming strategy on Thursday: get a bill passed and get to a conference with the House. At that point, leaders would continue negotiations in the hopes of reaching an improved bill that can provide a long-awaited legislative victory to the party and President Donald Trump.
But many Republican senators simply do not view the “skinny bill” as good policy. In fact, a series of senators on Thursday openly insisted that they did not want the House to pass the Senate’s proposal.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said he needs assurances that the bill will go to conference and described this as a “trust but verify” scenario with GOP leadership.
So, Lindsey Graham just explained he will only vote for the bill if he receives an ironclad insurance that it won’t become law. Today’s GOP.
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) July 27, 2017
A group of Republican Senators held a press conference this afternoon to express concerns about rumors that a “Skinny Repeal” bill would be immediately heard by the House and rushed forward before a “Conference Committee” could be convened between the two chambers. Big names, including Sen. Lindsay Graham, Sen. John McCain, and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), did not mince words in demanding a guarantee that a “Skinny Bill” would NOT become law as it is currently written.
“I can tell you right now, the ‘Skinny Bill’ doesn’t work for any state,” said Graham. “It’s not a replacement. Politically, it would be the dumbest thing in history to…collapse the insurance market.”
Graham went on to call the “Skinny Bill” a “fraud” and a “disaster.”