Ding Dong It’s Dead: McCain’s Stunning Late-Night Vote

obamacare sign

Arizona Senator John McCain’s dramatic return to cast a vote to start the open debate on the GOP health care bill looked like salvation to the Senate Republicans. However, their last attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare on Thursday was shut down completely as McCain voted against the bill.

The Skinny Version Didn’t Stand A Chance

After several failed attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, Senate Republicans “slimmed” down their version of their bill, named the Better Care Reconciliation Act, to a “skinny” proposal that would repeal only parts of Obamacare. The proposal, presented to Congress on Thursday, was shot down when McCain voted against the bill, joining Maine Senator Susan Collins and Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski opposing the measure.

On Tuesday, McCain held a speech in which he urged his colleagues to work together on important issues like the healthcare reform. However, his late Thursday night vote put an end to the seven-year struggle of the Republicans to go against President Obama’s signature law.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the skinny version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act would have left 16 more million Americans uninsured in a decade while premiums would increase by 20% in comparison to current law. However, before the Thursday night vote, President Trump was cheering on the Senate Republicans:

The results re-established Senator McCain’s ‘maverick’ status which he gained since George W. Bush’s presidency.

The Aftermath

Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell was not pleased by McCain’s surprise vote. While several other Republicans were not agreeing with the legislation, they still voted for the skinny version as a way to open negotiations with the House. Vice President Mike Pence was spotted before the vote discussing with McCain as well as Collins. Their efforts fell short.

It would have been strange for McCain to vote for a bill that would cut Medicaid funds in Arizona, in addition to his current health problems that very much depend on the doctors. Still, McConnell could not help but express his disappointment saying:

I regret that our efforts were simply not enough this time. Now, I imagine many of our colleagues on the other side are celebrating. Probably pretty happy about all this. But the American people are hurting, and they need relief.

President Trump joined in the sentiment, tweeting:

Read more on the Republicans’ past attempts.

Image source: Flickr.