Once again, senator John McCain is thwarting the Republican party’s effort to repeal Obamacare.
A new proposal was advanced this week by senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy. While the bill hasn’t yet been analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), preliminary studies estimate that it would cause 21 million Americans to lose insurance, and would cut funding (paywall) for 34 states. The bill would also allow insurers to hike premiums for people with pre-existing conditions, despite its sponsors’ repeated claims that it wouldn’t.
McCain, who in July voted against a “skinny repeal” of Obamacare, characterized his decision to oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill as a stand against its genesis: The bill was rushed to the floor without the Senate’s usual input from committees. In a statement, McCain said he “would consider supporting legislation similar to [Graham-Cassidy] were it the product of extensive hearings, debate and amendment,” saying that is “the only way we might achieve bipartisan consensus on lasting reform.”
Without McCain’s support, the bill won’t have the votes necessary to pass in the Senate. “I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal,” he said in the statement. “I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried.”