Cassidy says Senate is close to enough votes on ACA repeal; McConnell holds meetings to gauge support 

U.S. Capitol Building
Sen. Bill Cassidy said the hopes of passing his healthcare bill are very much alive.

Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act may still be alive: Sen. Bill Cassidy is predicting a victory for his healthcare bill, and he said that the GOP nearly has enough votes to pass the measure. 

Cassidy, R-Louisiana, who teamed up with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, for the healthcare bill, estimated the GOP is at 48 to 49 yes votes, and said he's "talking to two or three more" senators, according to an article from The Hill. 

"I am pretty confident that we'll get there on the Republican side," Cassidy said. 

RELATED: Special Report—8 ways to fix the Affordable Care Act 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is holding a series of private party meetings this week to gauge support for the bill, according to an article from Politico. McConnell has yet to decide if the bill will come to a vote, but he's likely to bring it to the floor if he can garner the support of 50 GOP senators. 

“McConnell and his team are engaged and serious about the vote and working with the conference to build support for Graham-Cassidy,” a source familiar with the bill’s prospects told the publication.  

The Graham-Cassidy bill would repeal the ACA and replace it with an annual block grant to states that would "help individuals pay for healthcare." It was unveiled on the same day as a Democratic bill, led by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, that would transition the country to a single-payer healthcare system. 

The Senate has an extremely slim window to pass the Graham-Cassidy plan, and prior attempts at repealing the ACA failed when it came down to the final few votes. The Senate's "skinny repeal" was spiked in dramatic fashion by a last-minute no vote from Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona. 

RELATED: Senate hearings reveal some state officials aren’t buying what Bill Cassidy is selling 

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, has already said he opposes the bill, and Paul and Cassidy debated the bill's merits in a Twitter exchange over the weekend, where Paul did not seem to be convinced by Cassidy's argument: 

Though it's still unclear whether the bill can pass the Senate, Graham said that Vice President Mike Pence called his office to say the Trump administration is fully behind the measure, according to an article from The Wall Street Journal. 

Meanwhile, Democratic senators took to social media to encourage voters to take a stand against the measure and contact their legislators: 

Update, 3:14 p.m.: 

The Graham-Cassidy bill may have inched closer to passing Monday afternoon, when McCain said in an interview with NBC News that he would back the bill if Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey approved the measure. He said he preferred a bipartisan solution, but that he would "reluctantly" approve it if Ducey did.

Ducey tweeted his support for the bill later on Monday, saying it's time for Senate to "get the job done."

If McCain were to become a yes vote, all eyes would turn to Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Paul, who are still likely holdouts.

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