Obamacare: US senate votes down ‘skinny repeal’ of health act

The revolt of John McCain

Arizona senator John McCain provided a historic and critical vote to torpedo the Obamacare repeal bill – and with it Donald Trump’s legislative agenda – in a night of high drama on Capitol Hill. McCain, who only returned to Washington earlier this week after a diagnosis of brain cancer, joined fellow Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in voting down the so-called “skinny repeal” bill 51-49. The six-term senator, who was his party’s 2008 presidential candidate against Barack Obama, told reporters “wait for the show” before arriving for the vote in the Senate chamber.

Once there, McCain was lobbied by vice-president Mike Pence, who was on the floor of the Senate to preside in case of a tie, for over 20 minutes. The two went back and forth and occasionally disappeared from the chamber altogether. But as the votes were cast, McCain, who had long nurtured a reputation as a maverick willing to buck party lines, delivered a black eye to Trump, who had famously mocked McCain as “not a war hero” during the 2016 campaign. The dramatic conclusion ended months of furious negotiating that exposed a party riven over how to dismantle a law that extended healthcare coverage to millions of Americans and has taken root in several states, in some cases with the help of Republican governors.

http://www.theguardian.com…   Fri.,  28  July 2017