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Sen. John McCain to Vote 'No' on GOP Health Care Bill, Likely Dooming It

09-22-2017

Senator John McCain (R - Ariz.) announced he will vote "no" on the Graham-Cassidy health care bill, likely killing the last-chance effort from the GOP of repealing and replacing Obamacare with a simple majority of 51 votes.

"I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal," McCain said in a statement Friday. "I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried. Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will effect {sic} insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it. Without a full CBO score, which won't be available by the end of the month, we won't have reliable answers to any of those questions."

In his statement, Senator McCain calls for the Senate to find a bipartisan solution to fixing health care.

"We should not be content to pass health care legislation on a party-line basis, as Democrats did when they rammed Obamacare through Congress in 2009. If we do so, our success could be as short-lived as theirs when the political winds shift, as they regularly do. The issue is too important, and too many lives are at risk, for us to leave the American people guessing from one election to the next whether and how they will acquire health insurance. A bill of this impact requires a bipartisan approach."

Senate Republicans were trying to pass a repeal and replace plan by September 30th through a process called budget reconciliation which only requires a simple majority to pass. Senator McCain joins Senator Rand Paul (R- Ky.) who already announced he will vote no, and Senator Susan Collins (R- Maine) who says she is "leaning no". Without the support of just one of the three GOP Senators, the bill will fail. 

Senators McCain and Graham are well known on Capitol Hill for being dear friends, but that doesn’t mean they agree on everything politically. Graham released the following statement following the announcement that McCain plans to vote “no” on his health care repeal plan:

“My friendship with John McCain is not based on how he votes but respect for how he’s lived his life and the person he is. I respectfully disagree with his position not to proceed forward on Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson.  I know Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson is the best chance to repeal and replace Obamacare.”   

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