Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake: GOP Health Care Legislation A 'First Step'

By Mariana Dale
Published: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 8:20pm
Jimmy Jenkins/KJZZ
Jeff Flake.

The latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is in peril now that Arizona Sen. John McCain has joined another Republican leader in rejecting GOP-sponsored legislation.

McCain said in a statement while he takes no pleasure in opposing his Republican colleague’s proposal, health care legislation needs bipartisan support to be effective.

Junior Sen. Jeff Flake said he will continue to support the measure, although he agreed with McCain that a long-term solution would have to be bipartisan.

“If Graham Cassidy was being cast as the be-all, end-all piece of legislation, that simply wouldn’t be right. It’s not,” Flake said. “This is the first step in what I hope will be hearings and markups and regular order to fix  parts of the system that need fixing.”

RELATED: Arizona Gov. Ducey On Repeal And Replace: 'It’s Time For Obamacare To Go'

Flake spoke to reporters at Mesa’s Falcon Field Airport after a day touring Eastern Arizona.

He said the Graham Cassidy legislation restores control of health care to the states.

“Anytime you have a government closer to the people that can run a program like this, it tends to be more efficient,” Flake said.

Flake rejects the idea Arizona would lose federal dollars under the proposal.

“Some of the studies that show that Arizona would receive less don’t take into account some of the cost-sharing subsidies and other block-granted programs that would be there for them,” Flake said.

The Senate needs at least 50 votes to pass the legislation and at least two other GOP senators have expressed serious concerns about the bill.

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