Sen. John McCain — who stunned his fellow Republicans by voting against the “skinny” repeal of ObamaCare — said Friday that he did not think it would “actually reform our health-care system” and ensure proper coverage for Americans, according to a report.
“While the amendment would have repealed some of ObamaCare’s most burdensome regulations, it offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health care to our citizens,” McCain said.
“The Speaker’s statement that the House would be ‘willing’ to go to conference does not ease my concern that this shell of a bill could be taken up and passed at any time,” he added.
The 80-year-old Arizona senator was recently diagnosed with brain cancer, but he returned to the Senate in time to cast a decisive vote in favor of opening debate on GOP legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
But he stunned his party when the final vote was at hand early Friday when he voted “no” and killed the legislation.
In the process, the maverick dealt what looks like the death knell to the Republican Party’s seven-year quest to get rid of Barack Obama’s 2010 health law.
Along with McCain, GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska joined Democrats in the dramatic 51-49 vote rejecting the bill despite intense pressure from the White House.
Vice President Mike Pence arrived in the Senate chambers shortly after midnight in case he was needed for a tie-breaker.
Before voting, McCain would not say how he would vote but told reporters to “wait for the show” as he arrived in the Senate chamber.
Later, he was seen giving Murkowski a thumbs-down, signaling his intentions, MSN reported.
McCain said that he’s repeated many times that one of the “major failures” of ObamaCare was that it was “rammed through Congress by Democrats on a strict-party line basis without a single Republican vote.”
“We should not make the mistakes of the past that has led to ObamaCare’s collapse, including in my home state of Arizona where premiums are skyrocketing and health care providers are fleeing the marketplace,” McCain said.
“We must now return to the correct way of legislating and send the bill back to committee, hold hearings, receive input from both sides of aisle, heed the recommendations of nation’s governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people,” he said.
The Senate’s action means that the Affordable Care Act, which extended health insurance to 20 million people, remains in place.
“This is clearly a disappointing moment,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said early Friday. “The American people are going to regret that we couldn’t find a better way forward.”