John McCain Kills GOP's Last Ditch Effort To Repeal Obamacare

Tyler Durden's picture

Third time turned out to be unlucky after all.

Earlier today, Sen. Susan Collins said that she has serious concerns about the latest GOP bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare as Republicans prepare to vote on the legislation next week, adding that she was "leaning against the bill... I’m just trying to do what I believe is the right thing for the people of Maine."  And with Collins voicing against the bill, it meant that GOP leadership would be left with no room for error if they want to get their last-ditch ObamaCare repeal bill through the Senate next week.

The math is simple: Republicans have 52 seats and need 50 senators to support the bill, which would require Vice President Pence to break a tie, under the special budget rules being used to avoid a Democratic filibuster.  Sen. Rand Paul has already said he will vote against the legislation.

Which meant that losing just one more vote would mean the end of this latest attempt to repeal Obamacare.

They lost it moments ago when John McCain said in a statement that "I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal"

The senator added that "I would consider supporting legislation similar to that offered by my friends Senators Graham and Cassidy were it the product of extensive hearings, debate and amendment. But that has not been the case. Instead, the specter of September 30th budget reconciliation deadline has hung over this entire process. McCain's statement recalls his dramatic return to Washington in July after a brain-cancer diagnosis, when he cast the decisive “no” vote to send a health plan by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell down to a stunning 49-51 defeat.

Ultimately, McCain demands the Democrats be part of any solution: "A bill of this impact requires a bipartisan approach" as "we should not be content to pass health care legislation on a party-line basis, as Democrats did when they rammed Obamacare through Congress in 2009."

His full statement below:



Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released the following statement today on health care reform:


"As I have repeatedly stressed, health care reform legislation ought to be the product of regular order in the Senate. Committees of jurisdiction should mark up legislation with input from all committee members, and send their bill to the floor for debate and amendment. That is the only way we might achieve bipartisan consensus on lasting reform, without which a policy that affects one-fifth of our economy and every single American family will be subject to reversal with every change of administration and congressional majority.


"I would consider supporting legislation similar to that offered by my friends Senators Graham and Cassidy were it the product of extensive hearings, debate and amendment. But that has not been the case. Instead, the specter of September 30th budget reconciliation deadline has hung over this entire process.


"We should not be content to pass health care legislation on a party-line basis, as Democrats did when they rammed Obamacare through Congress in 2009. If we do so, our success could be as short-lived as theirs when the political winds shift, as they regularly do. The issue is too important, and too many lives are at risk, for us to leave the American people guessing from one election to the next whether and how they will acquire health insurance. A bill of this impact requires a bipartisan approach.


"Senators Alexander and Murray have been negotiating in good faith to fix some of the problems with Obamacare. But I fear that the prospect of one last attempt at a strictly Republican bill has left the impression that their efforts cannot succeed. I hope they will resume their work should this last attempt at a partisan solution fail.


"1 cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried. Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will effect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it. Without a full CB0 score, which won't be available by the end of the month, we won't have reliable answers to any of those questions.


"I take no pleasure in announcing my opposition. Far from it. The bill's authors are my dear friends, and I think the world of them. I know they are acting consistently with their beliefs and sense of what is best for the country. So am I.


"I hope that in the months ahead, we can join with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to arrive at a compromise solution that is acceptable to most of us, and serves the interests of Americans as best we can."


In response to McCain's statement, Lindsey Graham, one of the bill's sponsors, tweeted "My friendship with @SenJohnMcCain is not based on how he votes but respect for how he’s lived his life and the person he is", however he added that "I respectfully disagree with @SenJohnMcCain position not to proceed forward on Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson" and that "I know Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson is the best chance to repeal and replace Obamacare."

* * *

Earlier on Friday, the Brookings Institution estimated Friday that the Graham-Cassidy plan would reduce the number of people with health coverage by about 21 million a year from 2020 through 2026. The number may be larger, it said, because of difficulties in setting up state health systems by 2020 and possible market turmoil in the final years. "What is clear, however, is that the legislation would result in very large reductions in insurance coverage," Brookings said. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said Medicaid funding cuts would equal 16 percent of projected state budgets in 2027. "That’s more than what states provide for higher education," it said according to Bloomberg.

McConnell said earlier this week that he intended to hold a Senate vote next week before a Sept. 30 deadline to use a fast-track procedure allowing a simple majority vote. David Popp, a spokesman for McConnell, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about McCain’s decision.

President Donald Trump warned on Twitter on Friday, “Rand Paul, or whoever votes against Hcare Bill, will forever (future political campaigns) be known as ‘the Republican who saved ObamaCare.’” The president is working the phone on the issue and is “open to having face-to-face meetings,” adviser Kellyanne Conway said on Fox News. “The president is leaning in all the way.”

Meanwhile, Democrats denounced the lightning-speed path to a vote, with only one committee hearing on the bill scheduled. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said the “dead of night” bill’s spending cuts will cause millions of Americans to lose insurance coverage and burden the finances of his state and many others.

The new proposal would turn Obamacare funds into block grants for the states, which would create their own health-care plans for their residents. States that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare would be hardest hit by spending cuts, losing $180 billion from 2020 to 2026, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. States that rejected the Medicaid expansion would gain $73 billion.


The measure would end the Affordable Care Act’s requirements that individuals have insurance and that most employers provide it.

And with the GOP's final attempt to pass Obamacare repeal before the end of the month now likely history, the market sighed a collective breath of relief, sending the managed care index soaring as the status quo is now assured to remain indefinitely.

And now we await Donald Trump's latest angry tweet.

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Killtruck's picture

What a fucking worthless cunt.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

He works for the deep state.  

Looney's picture


McCain IS the Deep State!  ;-)


InjectTheVenom's picture


>>>>   John McBrain   (too soon ?  gfy)

>>>>   John McCain

Shitonya Serfs's picture

Weird these fucks have had 7 years to fix this shit, but have nothing put together that can pass???


But, also more weird, they put the Patriot Act together pretty damn fast and had no problem passing that.

John Kerry-Heinz's picture

McStain is attempting to tell us he has a CONSCIENCE.  How many 100's of thousand of lives has this individual condemned to death?

Reaper can't come soon enough.

John Kerry-Heinz's picture

I apologize in advance for singing to the choir.

The REAL John McCain 

NVA intelligence agents knew him as “Songbird”


JRobby's picture

The Manchurian Senator lived just long enough to defy the will of the people in a big way, one last time.


Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

If the only thing Congress can do is sanction Russia, shame White people, and kiss Israeli ass this year, it's game over for moderates on either side.

Then add to that the possibilty of a stock downturn and another leg down in the economy...

jcaz's picture

John McCain, American Zero....

Chupacabra-322's picture

John McCain, why & how are you still alive.

This Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopath is the "Snake Plissken" of CONgress.

"John, I thought you were Dead."

The Alarmist's picture

John McCain, the Vietnamese equivalent of a V-2 that keeps on giving.

Mr. Ed's picture

Collins: get a higher IQ McBrain transplant!
McCain: drink about 100 Tom Collins, then take a dirt nap! (before the vote)

Itinerant's picture

what is CB-0?

Zero what?

Escrava Isaura's picture

“There you go again.” Ronald Reagan

Chupacabra-322 below: My Gut feeling = decentralization.

First, what your gut feeling has to with? Gut feeling is counterproductive if you want to understand.

Second, you can’t have decentralization in a industrial society. The two don’t go together. Decentralization can only work in a small “rural” society. Industrial society is complex by nature.

Third, in Australia, when they move to private, the waiting period became longer than the public option.

Fourth, US healthcare has a record, after all, US is 241 years old. So, let’s look at that:

Dr. Ronald Anderson: In 1963, the rate of hospital admissions for patients with private insurance was 15 percent, compared to 9 percent for those without private insurance. By 1970, the rates had equalized at 13 percent each, with the rate for those without private insurance increasing due in part to expanded access through Medicare and Medicaid. "Many people in the U.S. prior to 1965 had very limited access to medical care.

The Economics of Health Reconsidered, Fourth Edition 4th Edition


ergatz's picture

McCain - the man who supports Apartheid IsraHell and IsraHell's ISIS - HAS A CONSCIENCE?

Manthong's picture


 “I cannot in good conscience vote for Graham-Cassidy”

How can he have a conscience when he is already brain-dead?

When Obamacare collapses we can call it the McCain Medical Disaster… he owns it now.

Manthong's picture

He is just trying to lash out at Trump at the expense of the country.

I was thinking how small-minded that was, but then I realized there is no mind there…

They removed the brain and left the tumor.

Nice legacy Mr. Keating-McCain, we can hardly wait until we get to start writing it.


ali-ali-al-qomfri's picture

Nah it's fake news. Imagine the guy had a conscience for a moment,

just a moment.

swmnguy's picture

A system with private health insurance companies working with corporate-owned clinics, hospitals, pharma and device companies always creates an infinite cost spiral.  This was known by 1973, when the Nixon Administration introduced HMO plans as their solution to the already-existing problem.

Every idea proposed has failed, because they all try to keep the same basic structure.

Every time single payer is proposed, people predictably say it's Socialism, and it will bankrupt us.  As if healthcare in the US didn't already cost twice as much as the next-most-expensive country on Earth.  As if uncovered healthcare costs weren't already the largest single cause of consumer bankruptcy, and have been for a couple of decades.  As it we don't already pay through the nose now; as if it's somehow different for the middle class to pay premiums to a private company than to pay taxes.

What we're doing has already collapsed.  The bailout schemes have failed.

Now the GOP proposes to cut costs by taking away coverage, and allowing insurance policies that cost less because they don't cover anything, also taking away coverage.

This is about as intellectually bankrupt and dishonest as can be imagined.  It's the opposite of an idea of a solution.

I suspect healthcare is among the things that market systems can't handle well.  There's no free market in health care and there never can be.  A patient is in no position to negotiate.  It's not a free transaction.  Every solution that tries to preserve the gravy train for corporate interests will fail, as every single attempt has failed so far.

chunga's picture

I remember reading statistics somewhere that elective things like boob jobs and face lifts were coming down in price, everything else, no.

chestergimli's picture

I remember hearing on the news years ago that a well known insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield, was going to be publicly traded. I knew then that health insurance was going through the roof. And it did. Wall Street sucking it up again.

buyingsterling's picture

Strange how you can't say the same about auto insurance. Maybe that's because the F'ing government isn't trying to get you to pay for someone else's auto insurance.

In the few remaining private parts of the health care system such as lasik and plastic surgery, costs to patients have declined significantly. In every part where cost sharing (government) is involved the costs are out of control.

The private sector works and reduces costs through competition. If you don't see that happening, you can be sure that either monopolies or government hold the market hostage.

Escrava Isaura's picture

swmnguy: I suspect healthcare is among the things that market systems can't handle well.  There's no free market in health care and there never can be.  A patient is in no position to negotiate.

swmnguy, another good post, and correct in my opinion. I just would like to add this about free market:

Free market, especially in a industrial society, never ever existed but in ones brain. And I can prove my point here, at Zero Hedge.

How can Zero Hedge function? It takes a satellite for us to communicate, right? How did that satellite got up on the sky? How did we get to learn, develop, and built all these technologies?

Does anyone here believe that we acquired all these complexities by harvesting asparagus and digging for coal?

Only a highly programmed, and stupid liberal and a brainwashed naive conservative would believe in such nonsense as free market.  



11b40's picture

CBO = Congressional Budget Office

Tiwin's picture

John McCain, why & how are you still alive?

Baby hearts, lots and lots of baby hearts most likely stolen from parents by Child 'Services"

MmmmMmmMmmmyummy baby blood!

sickavme's picture

He's just voting against it because he turned into a never-trumper after trump stomped his death-dealings in syria...


We all get fucked because of one lousy piece of shit...



Big Creek Rising's picture

I guess Lindsey wont be lifting his skirt for Little John for a while.

Giant Meteor's picture

You don't understand how this game is played do ya  ..

"My good friend and esteemed colleague from Arizona, Senator John McCain and I have agreed on most every issue. I do however understand his concerns regarding this latest piece of legislation and do humbly respect this most difficult decision. I have always deeply appreciated and admired this good man of conscience, and his dedicated service, as well as his extreme sacrifice to the nation ..."

No friend, it's back to the broom closet for a bit more back slapping, ass tickling and who ha  ..

See ya in seven ..

Oh, and the Clintons are good people. Hillary has suffered enough ..

etc, etc. etc ..

Sheesh !

Katos's picture

" His extreme dedication and "sacrifice " for our country "??? Don't make me FUCKING PUKE! This whole concept of these FUCKING criminals "serving " our nation is the biggest crock OF alligator SHIT THE SWAMP has ever crapped out!

redmudhooch's picture

No, we all get fucked, McCain there or not, hes just the fall guy because 90% of America already hates him

Just a show, if it wasn't McCain it would be someone else..

Giant Meteor's picture

Of course, but seeing how he's on his way out anyway ..

Wasn't a tough choice really ..

And look, we all get to talk about him !

November 29th 1989

I'm a sucker for nostalgia .

veritas semper vinces's picture

"Trump stomped his death-dealings in Syria"



I guess you haven't seen this.Watch and learn how Trump "stopped it".

If you call THIS "Trump fighting ISIS/Alqaeda in Syria" ,you need to look for psychiatric help.

At UNGA,in his embarrassing war speech,The Don had the audacity to say that US has defeated ISIS in Syria.



JRobby's picture


a wasted life in the service of the enemies of he republic. "A TOOL" is what needs to be on his headstone.

HockeyFool's picture

Wish he'd hurry up and die so he can be replaced with a conservative.

redmudhooch's picture

Won't matter, AIPAC owns DC and ANYONE elected will be purchased by them .

auricle's picture

Ho Ho, Hey Hey, ACA is here to stay. Ho Ho, Hey Hey, ACA is here to stay.

It will collapse if the people who have not been paying based on Trumps campaign rhetoric continue to not pay. Looks like some folks are about to get a letter from the IRS. The only way the ACA can succeed is to force people to pay. What will Trump do? McStain made the decision knowing full well it was spitting in Trumps face.  

metastar's picture

Damn. I was hoping the cancer would have returned some functionality to his mind.

IH8OBAMA's picture

I can't wish for McCains quick death but I do wish he would give up his seat while his health is in decline.

Blankenstein's picture

The other congressman in your video mentioned how John McCain and John Kerry were the ones that were blocking attempts by other congressmen, the familes of POWs and others to get information and documents released to help find the missing POWs.

Interesting that BOTH of them were presidential candidates after this.  It looks like they are both deep state and were handsomely rewarded for the shananigans they pulled.

Creepy Lurker's picture

Ikr? This p.o.s. is 80 yrs. old and has a brain tumor, and we still can't get rid of his ass!

Truly, we live in wtf world.

FireBrander's picture

For Fuchs sake people - WE ARE BEING PLAYED!

The Republican party has NO FUCKING DESIRE to step into the US "HealthCare" Shitpile!

McCain is, LITERALLY, a "Dead Man Walking" so they let him "take the blame" for not repealing ObamaCare.

Give me a fucking break, how stupid do they think we are?


"We wanted to repeal ObamaCare, but that Maverick McCain stopped us"....fuck off.


FireBrander's picture

Where's Bernies' Plan?

I'm ready for that; seriously..."Free Market" has run it's course to failure; couple decades of "single payer" is sounding just fine to me.

All you free market fucknuts, please explain why that option is no where to be found flourishing anywhere on the fucking planet...NO WHERE!

lie_to_me's picture

Because that option would give you lower costs and choice. That's why. Next question. (And if you live in the U.S. good luck getting a physician to participate and provide care. Do you have any idea what passes for a doctor at the VA?)

FireBrander's picture

"Because that option would give you lower costs and choice"


Yeah, on paper, in a textbook, it works great...but in reality...yes, I know that is a foreign word to many...but in reality the "free Market" FAILS HORRIBLY due to a little thing called human nature and GREED!

All ism's eventually fail because of the evil aspects of human nature; capitalism/freemarket is no exception.

oDumbo's picture

God, you're an idiot.  Seriously.  Capitalism IS human nature, you ignorant moron.  Socialism is control over many by the few, the opposite of human nature and proven to be a failure every time thoughout all of history.  Tens of millions killed because of socialism and communism, but that doesn't tell the real story of human suffering as a direct result of living under socialist / communist regimes.  Please just cut your hands off so you can't type the BS at ZH anymore.  Idiot.

spyware-free's picture

Define capitalism. If it's Libertarian Capitalism with a truly free market I agree. If it's the Crony Capitalism we have masquerading as the free market currently operating in the good ole USSofA then have to disagree. Akin to Fascism it is and can be argued worse than Socialism. We live in a giant Casino where the house is stealing you blind. We have Socialism for the corporate crony's....Mafia rules for everyone else.