The Senate will "defer" its work on repealing and replacing Obamacare Majority leader Mitch McConnell said late on Saturday, as John McCain, 80, recovers from surgery to remove a blood clot above his eye Reuters reports. The health care reform bill, which is already neared collapse as senators Rand Paul and Susan Collins have already said they would oppose it, would fail without McCain's vote. With Democrats united in opposition, McConnell needs support from at least 50 out of 52 Republicans to pass the measure in the 100-member chamber. In the event of a 50-50 split, Vice President Mike Pence would cast the tie-breaking vote.
"There are few people tougher than my friend John McCain, and I know he'll be back with us soon," Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement wishing the senior Arizona lawmaker well. "While John is recovering, the Senate will continue our work on legislative items and nominations, and will defer consideration of the Better Care Act."
The Mayo Clinic, which performed the surgery Friday in Phoenix, said the five-centimeter (two-inch) blood clot was "successfully removed" from above his left eye during a "minimally invasive" craniotomy with an eyebrow incision. Tissue pathology reports are due in the coming days with McCain's office saying on Saturday that the lawmaker, "in good spirits and recovering comfortably at home with his family," would recover in Arizona through next week.
"Thanks to @MayoClinic for its excellent care -- I appreciate your support & look forward to getting back to work!" McCain tweeted late on Saturday.
The vote delay is the latest setback for Trump's goal to end Barack Obama's sweeping reforms, which has proven painfully elusive in the first six months of the new administration.
Meanwhile, several Republicans in the party's conservative and moderate wings have expressed deep concerns over the latest draft unveiled Thursday, with further delays expected to only raise opposition to the Senate proposed bill, as some fear that repealing the Affordable Care Act could adversely impact millions of Americans by effectively forcing them off of Medicaid or making health costs soar for people with pre-existing conditions. Ironically, insurance prices are already soaring even as some of the biggest US insurers have already pulled out of numerous state exchanges.