John McCain’s well-earned reputation as a maverick championed once again this week as the Arizona Senator put the GOP health care bill on blast.
The GOP has maintained a steadfast opposition to the Affordable Care Act since 2010, a policy that the current administration hopes to act on. On the campaign trail, Trump promised that he would repeal and replace the ACA.
Despite its controversy, the ACA reduced the number of uninsured Americans by 20 million. Patients are less likely to skip needed care on the basis of cost, saving tens of thousands of lives each year.
Obamacare offers coverage security for those with preexisting conditions, guaranteeing they cannot be rejected or charged more than others. Primary care, specialty care, surgery, medicines, and chronic condition treatments are more accessible than ever.
Rather than working to amend Obamacare, Trump proposed his own plan. Under GOP healthcare, Trump insisted that “We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” which sounded like a vague off-brand simplification of the ACA.
“There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.” Trump said, regurgitating the basics of Obamacare.
Since Trump first took office, many efforts have already been made to repeal yet another Obama-era policy, the ACA. The White House has made it clear that repealing and replacing the ACA would take many legislative steps while compromising the health care coverage of 14 million Americans.
Kellyanne Conway insisted that measures would be taken to protect those on Obamacare, saying “We don't want anyone who currently has insurance to not have insurance.” Despite Trump and his administration's’ promises, multiple GOP health care proposals have failed to offer protection for ACA recipients.
What’s Happening Now:
Senator John McCain’s calls for bipartisanship have been nothing less than consistent since he killed the GOP’s skinny repeal bill this past summer, stating that through partisan efforts “We’re getting nothing done.”
“Why don’t we try the old way of legislating in the Senate, the way our rules and customs encourage us to act,” the Arizona Senator said. “If this process ends in failure, which seems likely, then let’s return to regular order.”
The GOP’s latest health care proposal could be the last of the year, and without the support of McCain, it’s likely to flop. As one of the key players in the vote, McCain’s disapproval of the bill’s “up or down” vote could be its demise.
“I have talked and talked and talked about the need to do regular order. I have amendments that I would like to have votes on. … Am I going to be able to have those, or is [it] going to be an up or down vote? That's not why I came to the Senate just to give up or down votes,” McCain said.
He noted that he would not have been opposed to similar legislation of the GOP health care bill, “were it the product of extensive hearings, debate and amendment. But that has not been the case.” Republicans have until the 30th to act without the fear of a Democratic filibuster, which would increase their chances of getting the bill to Trump.
McCain has no regrets about potentially killing the GOP’s last chance to repeal the ACA this year, saying “I'm not the one that waited nine months … it's not my problem that we only have those few days,”
McCain maintains that he cannot support the bill “without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it” since a full analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office was bypassed. “Without a full CBO score, which won’t be available by the end of the month, we won’t have reliable answers to any of those questions.”
Despite the bill’s almost certain demise, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said he remains supportive of the bill and encourages “others to do the same.”
H/T: The Hill