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Sen. John McCain declares opposition to GOP health care bill

By The Associated Press

This article was published September 22, 2017 at 1:51 p.m.

in-this-sept-5-2017-file-photo-sen-john-mccain-r-ariz-walks-from-his-senate-office-as-congress-returns-from-the-august-recess-in-washington

In this Sept. 5, 2017, file photo, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., walks from his Senate office as Congress returns from the August recess in Washington.


WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain declared his opposition Friday to the GOP's effort to repeal and replace "Obamacare," dealing a likely death blow to the legislation.

"I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal," McCain said in a statement, referring to the bill by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

"I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried," he said. "Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it."

The 81-year-old senator who is battling brain cancer was the decisive vote against the GOP's last repeal effort, in July.

President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had both been pushing hard for the bill in recent days, and McCain's best friend in the Senate, Graham, was an author. Trump declared during the presidential campaign that he would quickly demolish Obamacare and "it will be easy."

McCain's announcement likely leaves GOP leaders at least one vote short for the bill, which they had hoped to bring to the floor next week. They face a Sept. 30 deadline for action on the legislation, at which point special rules that prevent a Democratic filibuster will expire.

Democrats are unanimously opposed. GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has announced his opposition ,and GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said Friday she, too, was leaning against supporting the bill.

Along with McCain, that would leave Republicans with only 49 votes for the bill; they would need 50, plus Vice President Mike Pence to break a tie, in order to prevail.

The Graham-Cassidy bill would repeal major pillars of former President Barack Obama's law, replacing them with block grants to states to design their own programs. Major medical groups are opposed, saying millions would lose insurance coverage and protections.

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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Comments on: Sen. John McCain declares opposition to GOP health care bill

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PopulistMom says... September 22, 2017 at 2:10 p.m.

Praise the Lord!

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ARMNAR says... September 22, 2017 at 2:32 p.m.

Wonderful news!

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Delta2 says... September 22, 2017 at 3:20 p.m.

Nice to see at least a few politicians put people in front of party. Too bad none of them are from Arkansas.

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TimberTopper says... September 22, 2017 at 3:34 p.m.

He could possibly be the only old time true Republican in Washington. You said it right PopMom!

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Pobucker says... September 22, 2017 at 5:01 p.m.

Poor old John. He was acting senile when he chose Palin. Painfully embarrassing to watch him back then. Now the cancer is eating up what little is left. Sad.

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Balien says... September 22, 2017 at 5:01 p.m.

John McCain just can't stop being a hero. He is that rare breed of public servant who puts constituents above political party. Too bad there aren't more like him in Congress.

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MsLed says... September 22, 2017 at 5:45 p.m.

Begin typing here... 🙌

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JakeTidmore says... September 22, 2017 at 6:04 p.m.

It looks like Lorilei has argued better and more truthfully than Po. Just call her zen-timental.

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gohogs17 says... September 22, 2017 at 6:11 p.m.

McCain said he couldn't support a bill without bi-partisan votes. What does he think happened when nothing BUT Democrats voted for Ocare? Lame excuse, the guy needs to retire and take care of his health issues.

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JakeTidmore says... September 22, 2017 at 6:12 p.m.

According to Po, who disagrees with McCain, it is wrong:

1) For Democrats and Republicans to work together;
2) To find out how much a bill will cost the American taxpayer before passing it;
3) To find out how insurance premiums which Americans will have to pay will be affected by a bill;
4) To figure out how Americans might be harmed by a bill
5) To be conscientious and consider all Americans when working on legislation.
****
When someone stupid calls another person senile, it is the height of idiocy.

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