McCain returned to Washington earlier this week after his brain cancer diagnosis to participate in the Senates latest attempt to repeal Obamacare. He dealt a blow to those efforts early Friday by casting avote againstRepublicans so-called skinny repeal bill.
The bill failed in a 49-51 vote thanks to the GOP votes of McCain, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, a shocking defeat for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Had it passed, the legislation would have killed several Obamacare provisions, including individual and employer mandates, and stripped millions of people of their health insurance.
The Senate took up the bill Thursday evening despite concerns from Democrats and several Republican senators. Republican leaders, including House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), had suggested that, once passed, the House would work with the Senate to improve the legislation rather than sending it straight to President Donald Trumps desk. However, McCain said on Friday that Ryans statement that the House would be willing to go to conference does not ease my concern that this shell of a bill could be taken up and passed at any time.
McCain told reporters thathe thought voting no was the right thing to do.
Fridays vote was a sharp turn for McCain after his votes Tuesday in favor of a motion to advance health care legislation and then voting for a repeal bill, despite having just decriedboth the legislation and the secrecy surrounding it. That legislation also went down after nine other Republican senators voted no.
McCain,who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer earlier this month and is receiving treatment thanks to his taxpayer-funded health insurance, had been sharply criticized for his votes Tuesday.
His Friday vote was praised as his finest moment.