WASHINGTON — A Republican bill to repeal Obamacare appeared in doubt Friday after Sen. John McCain announced he would vote against the legislation because it lacked bipartisan consensus and the unknown impact on health care for families.
“I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried,” McCain, R-Ariz., said in a statement released by his Washington office.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., previously announced his opposition to the bill, saying it did not fully repeal the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins reportedly said in Maine on Friday that she was leaning against the bill because a full independent analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office had not determined the cost, or the loss of coverage to families that rely on public insurance exchanges.
Republicans hold a slim 52-48 majority in the Senate. They need 50 votes, with Vice President Mike Pence casting a tie-breaking vote, to pass the GOP repeal bill under budget reconciliation rules that expire Sept. 30.
After the expiration, Republicans would need support from Democrats to muster 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.
The GOP bill under consideration was filed last week by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis.
The bill would cut Medicaid funding and redistribute federal spending to states through block grants.
McCain said he could not support the bill without knowing the cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, “and how many people will be helped or hurt by it.”
The Arizona senator, who cast the vote that tanked an earlier repeal bill in July, said Republicans should not ram through a partisan bill like Democrats did when they passed Obamacare along straight party line votes in the House and Senate in 2010.
Contact Gary Martin at 202-662-7390 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @garymartindc on Twitter.
Thank you @SenJohnMcCain for being a hero again and again and now AGAIN
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) September 22, 2017