U.S. Senator John McCain, who was diagnosed with brain cancer, went on a hike with his daughter on Saturday, according to a tweet from Meghan McCain. Vice President Mike Pence would cast a tie-breaking vote. John McCain on Tuesday delivered a crucial vote in the Republican drive to dismantle the health care law, a win for President Donald Trump and GOP leaders, and then levelled a broadside at how the GOP got there. The many Americans on the Nay side of the Senate vote may strongly disagree with McCain's political positions, but every sane American could not help but feel respect and admiration for such courage and dignity.
But the narrow victory on a simple procedural matter raised questions about whether Republicans can muster the votes necessary to pass any of the various approaches to repeal. The vote was 43 in favor and 57 against.
"Our health care insurance system is a mess", McCain said on the floor, adding of Obamacare: "We Republicans have looked for a way to end it and replace it with something else without paying a awful political price".
Arizona Senator John McCain arrived in Washington, D.C.to vote on health care in the Senate. And just because there's enough votes to hold the debate, that doesn't mean that the actual bill makes it through even with McCain there. In the House, Speaker Paul Ryan managed to assemble a majority for his bill only by persuading his colleagues that any flaws it contained would be fixed in the Senate. Not when he flew across the country to cast the deciding vote to advance a bill which would deprive tens of millions of people of their health care.
Yet Portman and other undeclared Republican senators were also being pounded by the White House. He refused to tell fellow senators and reporters how he might vote. If the Republicans failed to garner 51 votes to open debate, the whole Obamacare repeal fiasco would have collapsed then and there in an ignominious cough of dust (for now). Sen.
America's Essential Hospitals, a group representing safety-net hospitals, said in a statement it strongly opposed all the Republican plans and feared the big cuts in Medicaid in the bills "would jeopardize the health and financial security of millions of working people and families".
Other commentators similarly noted the brazen contempt Senate Republicans have shown for the most basic standards of transparency.
Average survival for malignant glioblastoma, a condition that claimed the life of former Democratic Senate lion and McCain friend Ted Kennedy, tends to be around 14 months with treatment, that includes chemotherapy and radiation. After last week, when this scheming looked destined to fail, he called for Tuesday's vote on the "motion to consider"-even though he had not made clear what sort of measure the members would be taking up".
Many commentators attacked McCain's paean to regular order for being in direct conflict with his vote to advance a bill that completely avoided it.