Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) said on Thursday that Sen. Bill Cassidy (R., L.A.) is being "factually misleading" about the Graham-Cassidy health care proposal before later admitting he has not read the actual bill.
The Graham-Cassidy bill was proposed last week by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C) and Cassidy to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Whitehouse appeared on CNN's "New Day," where co-host Alisyn Camerota played a clip of a Wednesday interview with Cassidy.
"Under Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson, more people would have coverage and we protect those with pre-existing conditions," Cassidy said. "States like Maine, Virginia, Florida, Missouri – there will be billions more dollars to provide health insurance coverage for those and those states who have been passed by by Obamacare and we protect those with pre-existing conditions."
Whitehouse said "there's not much of that that's true" in response to Cassidy's defense of his Obamacare repeal bill.
"For starters, you don't protect pre-existing conditions when you allow states to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, which this bill does," Whitehouse said. "Second, he focuses only on the states that get money under his bill, not the ones like my state that have that money taken from them to give to the other states."
"It's basically a raid on blue states and states that adopted the Medicaid expansion, to take money to those states. So it's really unfair just to pick out those states and say that you're winning," Whitehouse added.
Camerota asked Whitehouse whether he was suggesting Cassidy was being "intentionally misleading."
"Well, I don't know what his intent is, but he sure as heck is being factually misleading," Whitehouse said.
Camerota explained she has people in her own life that struggle with opioid crisis, and people want to know what the government's plan is, prompting her to ask Whitehouse whether he has read the Graham-Cassidy bill.
"I've seen reviews of it. I haven't read the language of it," Whitehouse said.