Revised GOP health care proposal fails to provide adequate health care
Jul 17 2017
In a statement Thursday, the senator's office reiterated his support for the amendment but said that is not indicative of how he will vote on the bill.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saiys he will delay consideration of health care legislation in the Senate, after Sen. John McCain announced he would be home all week recovering from surgery. With the party holding a 52-48 majority, they can afford to lose only two Republicans.
Surgeons removed the clot during a minimally invasive craniotomy through an incision in the 80-year-old lawmaker's eyebrow.
McConnell's announcement came shortly after McCain's office issued a statement disclosing the surgery and noting that doctors had advised the senator to stay in Arizona next week to recover.
Here's what McCain's absence does to McConnell's whip count: There were already two Senate Republicans who have said they would vote "no" on motion to proceed on this bill - Sens. McConnell said at the time that more time was needed to complete action on legislative items.
Meanwhile, two Republican senators - Susan Collins of ME and Rand Paul of Kentucky - have already said they will not support a motion to proceed to floor debate on the legislation.
The other "no" vote, Collins, is against the bill for the opposite reason - it goes too far to undo ObamaCare protections that help vulnerable populations. McConnell had been pushing for a vote on Tuesday.
McCain has said he's concerned about the impact of proposed Medicaid cuts on his home state, and said on July 13 he couldn't say whether he would support McConnell's new bill. Without McCain, the Republicans don't have the 50 votes they need to let Vice President Mike Pence put the lives of millions of Americans in jeopardy by casting the tiebreaker. If McConnell loses one more vote - no Democrats are now in favor of the bill - it won't pass.
Moderate Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is also withholding her support because it would slow the rate of growth in spending on Medicaid.
One optimistic way to view the vote delay is that it now gives some of the wavering and undecided GOP senators more time to think and negotiate. He had hoped the bill would be voted on this week.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price suggested Sunday that the nation's health insurance system ought to operate as it did before the Affordable Care Act was passed.
"The real problem we have is we won four elections on repealing Obamacare, but this bill keeps most of the Obamacare taxes, keeps most of the regulations, keeps most of the subsidies", Paul said.
Paul added that by keeping insurance mandates from the ACA in the current iteration of the plan, supporters of the bill are "subsidizing the death spiral of Obamacare".