Sen. John McCain deals blows to Cassidy-Graham bill
Republican senator says cannot in good conscience support the GOP's latest effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare; chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel reports from Washington
President Trump, with his United Nations debut over, turned his attention Saturday to make-or-break senators in their chamber's upcoming ObamaCare vote, encouraging Sen. Rand Paul to “find a way” to vote yes.
The Senate is scheduled next week to vote on another plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare, the so-called "Cassidy-Graham Bill," which like other previous attempts this year appears a few vote shy of passage.
“I know Rand Paul and I think he may find a way to get there for the good of the Party!” Trump said Saturday morning in one of several tweets.
WHAT IS GRAHAM-CASSIDY?
The GOP-controlled chamber has until Sept. 30 to pass the bill with a simple, 51-vote majority under the so-called “budget reconciliation” procedure.
Republicans have 52 members in the Senate, however Paul, of Kentucky; Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska; John McCain, of Arizona, and Susan Collins, of Maine, appear holdouts, as in previous votes.
“Alaska had a 200% plus increase in premiums under ObamaCare, worst in the country. Deductibles high, people angry! Lisa M comes through,” Trump tweeted Saturday about Murkowski.
Earlier this spring the House approved an ObamaCare replacement measure but the Senate as failed on at least two tries, frustrating Trump who made a major campaign promise of dismantling former President Barack Obama’s signature 2010 health care law.
No Democrats support congressional legislation to end the law.
Under the Cassidy-Graham bill, states would have more flexibility in managing federally-backed health insurance by giving states funds through block grants.
Bossie: McCain solidifies legacy of supporting ObamaCare
McCain, recently diagnosed with brain cancer, cast the deciding vote in August to nix a repeal-replace bill backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky.
On Friday, the Arizona senator Friday that he would not vote for the Cassidy-Graham bill.
“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal,” McCain said in a statement on Friday.
His opposition could effectively doom the bill, which Senate leaders were hoping to bring to the floor next week ahead of a looming deadline.
Trump slammed McCain on Saturday in three tweets:
“John McCain never had any intention of voting for this Bill, which his Governor loves. He campaigned on Repeal & Replace. Let Arizona down!" he wrote, followed by: "Arizona had a 116% increase in ObamaCare premiums last year, with deductibles very high. Chuck Schumer sold John McCain a bill of goods. Sad.
“Large Block Grants to States is a good thing to do. Better control & management. Great for Arizona. McCain let his best friend (South Carolina GOP. Sen.Lindsey Graham) down!”