John McCain to return to Senate Tuesday for health care vote

Cheryl Sanders
July 29, 2017

US Senator John McCain returns to Washington tomorrow for the first time since being diagnosed with brain cancer, his office announced, in order to take key votes on repealing Obamacare and passing sanctions on Russian Federation.

The Senate debate over health care has made it painfully clear: behind their self-confident "repeal and replace" slogan, Republicans were never united around an alternative to "Obamacare". Schumer choked up as he turned his attention to McCain, who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer.

Health care was supposed to be relatively easy, with Republicans controlling both the White House and Congress. Ryan issued a statement saying he would go to conference, but didn't guarantee there wouldn't be a vote on a Senate-passed "skinny bill".

McCain killed his party's narrowly-crafted Obamacare repeal bill Friday not because he was opposed to dismantling the Affordable Care Act, but because he fundamentally believed the process - the lack of hearings, the one-party, closed-door negotiations, the fact that in the end all that Republican senators could agree upon was a shell of the plan they'd promised - was flawed.

Earlier this week, after McCain's vote advancing the health care bill, Trump was far kinder.

While McConnell predicted there would be an all-night marathon of votes, Democrats have chose to save their political ammunition until Republicans reveal the substance of the "skinny repeal" that they have been crafting.

Republicans threatening to hold up Senate health legislation because of a dispute with the House expressed dissatisfaction late Thursday with an effort by Speaker Paul Ryan to resolve the standoff. It would also punish Iran and North Korea for recent ballistic missile tests. Even President Donald Trump called to try a final "Hail Mary" to sway McCain, a source briefed on the call told CNN. "McCain is a fighter", said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky during a Senate floor speech Tuesday.

Senators said several approaches have been discussed, including a straight repeal of Obamacare with no replacement plan, or repealing and replacing the law while also overhauling Medicaid.

"We have a good chance to beat this", Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters after the vote. "I remain committed to working with all of my colleagues - Democrats and Republicans - to ensure all West Virginians and Americans have accessible and affordable healthcare". It's an atypical legislative strategy in which Republicans would vote "yes" on legislation that no one wants to ultimately pass.

Three Republicans joined with all Democrats to reject the amendment, which would have repealed mandates that most individuals get health insurance and that large companies provide it to their employees.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that 15 million more people would be uninsured than under Obamacare in 2018, and that figure would grow to 16 million in 2026. "The problems with Obamacare and the health care insurance markets are real and continue, especially in Arizona". "I've personally volunteered to rent an RV", said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, reported Politico.

The 80-year-old, who has been in the Senate for three decades, said he would not vote for the healthcare bill "as it is today", and added: "I know many of you will have to see the bill changed substantially to support it".

"I am not going to vote for a bill that is awful policy and frightful politics just because we have to get something done", said Sen.

Other reports by iNewsToday