Arizona Sen. John McCain votes no to repeal parts of Obamacare

Jul 27, 2017, 11:15 PM | Updated: Mar 1, 2018, 3:57 pm

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was one of three senators who voted no on repealing parts of Obamacare late Thursday in Arizona.

The bill failed by a margin of 49-51, with Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) joining McCain as Republicans who voted the same as all Democrats.

McCain had left the Senate room for a time while the vote had started. When he walked in, he held his hand up and then put his fingers down, confirming his vote as a no.

McCain later released a statement on his decision.

“From the beginning, I have believed that Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with a solution that increases competition, lowers costs, and improves care for the American people,” the statement said. “The so-called ‘skinny repeal’ amendment the Senate voted on today would not accomplish those goals.

“While the amendment would have repealed some of Obamacare’s most burdensome regulations, it offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health care to our citizens.

Leading up to the vote McCain called for a bipartisan solution that would replace Obamacare, including at a press conference Thursday just hours before the vote.

“I believe that one of the major problems with Obamacare is that it was rammed through Congress by Democrats without a single Republican vote,” he said. “I believe we shouldn’t make that mistake again.”

In the hour before the vote took place many Republicans were seen having discussions with McCain. Vice President Mike Pence reportedly spoke with him for 20 minutes at one point, left the floor and came back for more discussion. Those conversations, presumably to get his vote to flip, did not sway McCain.

In the press conference, McCain talked about the need for both sides to come together.

“We’ve got to have Republicans and Democrats sit down together and come up with a bill that gets a majority in both houses,” he said. “Otherwise, we’re going to see this continuous deadlock.

“Obamacare is a failure. It needs to be fixed. We have fixes, but it’s got to be done in the normal process.”

The results deal a serious blow to GOP and Trump’s agenda.

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Arizona Sen. John McCain votes no to repeal parts of Obamacare