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How Rick Santorum Got A Haircut And Revived The GOP’s Obamacare Repeal Effort

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Penn., speaks on Capitol Hill Sept. 13, during a phenomenon of a latest Republican check directed during dismantling a Affordable Care Act.

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Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Penn., speaks on Capitol Hill Sept. 13, during a phenomenon of a latest Republican check directed during dismantling a Affordable Care Act.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

There’s a possibility Republicans wouldn’t be so tighten to repealing and replacing a Affordable Care Act if former GOP Sen. Rick Santorum, of Pennsylvania, hadn’t forsaken into a Capitol barbershop this spring.

“I was adult on a Hill, we happened to usually go by a barbershop to see if we could get a haircut, and Lindsey was in a chair,” Santorum said. “And Lindsey asked me what we was doing, and we suspicion to myself, ‘well, let me usually rebound it off Lindsey.'”

“Lindsey” was Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and “it” was an suspicion Santorum had usually begun articulate about with several members of a House Freedom Caucus — repealing vast tools of Obamacare and replacing it with a complement that’s prolonged been a Republican favorite, retard grants of appropriation to states that come with distant fewer sovereign mandates.

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Santorum’s been mostly absent from Washington given he mislaid to Democrat Bob Casey in 2006. “I haven’t been to a Capitol, unequivocally other than usually to contend hi and take friends by tours, in a final 10 years,” he said. Santorum was a runner-up in a 2012 GOP presidential primaries behind Mitt Romney, and didn’t make it over a Iowa caucuses in 2016.

But he’s prolonged been drawn to a health caring debate, and Santorum suspicion he had something to supplement to Republican dissolution efforts. The retard extend proceed comes from a vital gratification remodel law that Santorum helped author in 1996. The reform, sealed by Democratic President Bill Clinton, stands as a singular successful rollback of a previously-issued supervision entitlement.

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Santorum done his representation to Graham in a coiffeur chair, Graham favourite it and unexpected a dual presidential also-rans were on a mission. Except, not quite. “It was always a behind burner until it was apparent in Jul that [Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Obamacare dissolution bill] wasn’t going to pass,” Santorum said.

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After that, talks continued behind a scenes until a check was rolled out in a Capitol press discussion final week. And there was Santorum, who hadn’t hold bureau given 2007, not usually station alongside 4 stream Republican senators, though jumping into a brew and responding questions.

Santorum argued a check is most some-more politically viable than prior dissolution efforts, since it doesn’t utterly dissolution a stream health caring system. “We don’t cut as most as a McConnell check does,” he said. “We famous that there’s a need out there and there’s an desert in place, like a gratification issue. To be means to mislay a broad-based desert is, in my mind, unfit to do.”

Critics contend a magnitude would do most some-more than tweak a stream system. While it would disencumber many stream sovereign health word mandate and spin income over to states, many states would see vital shifts in their stream appropriation levels. Obamacare defenders worry this would lead to inconstant markets, and not a whole lot of insurance for people with costly or preexisting medical conditions.

Read a full research of a check from NPR’s Alison Kodjak here.

With this bill, Santorum is behind in a brew in Washington — adequate that, for a brief moment, someone recently floated a suspicion that maybe Santorum could step in as House speaker, if conservatives rebel opposite Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

Santorum pronounced he’s not interested, and that he prefers a stream purpose that he frames as a “little bit of a special representative entrance in and perplexing to assistance out.” But his initial answer to what he done of that brief, low-flying hearing balloon wasn’t a form of shouting exclusion that many politicians would give.

Santorum said, “I consider that came about since we’re putting together a devise here in health caring that people are looking during and saying, gee, because couldn’t a care do something like that?”

On Tuesday, Santorum was behind on Capitol Hill, pitching Senate Republicans on a bill, called “Graham-Cassidy.” It’s left from an suspicion in a barber’s chair, to something that now appears to have a shot of passing.