The Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill to “Repeal and Replace” Obamacare was a hail mary to begin with, but Senator John McCain (R-AZ) may have just slapped it away, incomplete pass. The bill never had any Democrat support, but was showing promise in uniting enough Republican Senators to get it passed. With the deadline to pass with a simple majority being just a week away, this will likely be game over for healthcare reform for the foreseeable future.
With Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) already being on record as against the bill, the two remaining notable hold-outs are Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME). Reports have been coming out recently regarding the active courting of Sen. Murkowski’s vote based on the unique situations that Alaska deals with, which reportedly had the Senator leaning against the bill.
Sen. McCain had said that he would defer to Arizona Governor, Doug Dusey’s position, who publicly supported the bill. Leading many to speculate that his decision was more motivated by animosity towards President Trump than a legislative decision. Senate Republicans now need BOTH Sens. Murkowski and Collins to reach a 505-50 vote with VP Pence as the tie-breaker. However, right on the heals of Senator McCain’s announcement that he will vote NO, Sen. Collins has come out with a “leaning no” position.
“I 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 CBO score, which won’t be available by the end of the month, we won’t have reliable answers to any of those questions.”
Sen. Collins told the Portland, Maine, Press Herald Friday that she is leaning “no” on the overhaul bill that eliminates the Medicaid expansion and turns Obamacare funding into block grants for states.
Collins has previously opposed every other Obamacare repeal effort that the GOP has brought up this year, and was widely expected to oppose this one as well. However, she has not publicly declared a position yet on the overhaul bill deemed by Republicans as their last shot at repealing Obamacare.
Republicans have until Sept. 30 to pass the bill or else they lose the ability to pass it with only 51 votes.