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John McCain Saves Obamacare From Skinny Repeal

McCain delivers deciding vote to strike down “skinny repeal” of Obamacare.

Days after Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) helped to further the efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, he becomes the deciding “no” vote to vote down the “skinny repeal” bill.

After a late release Thursday night by Republicans, the Senate had hours to debate and vote on the skinny repeal bill.  Some Republicans reportedly disliked the bill, but would vote for it.  Senate Republicans could lose two votes to skinny repeal Obamacare.  Two Republican Senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, were likely to vote “no” with Democrats, as they had earlier for the procedural vote

Before voting, McCain instructed reporters to “ watch the show”.  He walked onto the Senate floor, commanded attention, and voted against the skinny repeal.

Prior to the vote, CNN reported huddled meetings with Republican Senators Jeff Flake (AZ) and Lindsey Graham (SC), a chat with Mike Pence, and a phone call with President Donald Trump – all likely efforts to sway him to a “yes” vote.

McCain’s “no” vote shut down the skinny repeal.  The final vote tallying 49-51.

“From the beginning, I have believed that Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with a solution that increases competition, lowers costs, and improves care for the American people. The so-called ‘skinny repeal’ amendment the Senate voted on today would not accomplish those goals,” McCain said in a released statement.

His statement echoes the hints dropped after his “yes” procedural vote.

“We’re getting nothing done,” he said.  “Why don’t we try the old way of legislating in the Senate, the way our rules and customs encourage us to act? If this process ends in failure, which seem likely, then let’s return to regular order.”

Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer (D-NY), spoke on the floor after the vote.

“We are not celebrating.  We are relieved.”

The Arizona Senator’s decision to vote down the skinny repeal shows health care may have a bipartisan future.

“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. We must do the hard work our citizens expect of us and deserve.”

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