Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) threw a wrench into the health bill brought to the table by Sens. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), effectively leaving the measure dead in the water as its supporters scramble to win over other no-voters.
“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal,” he said. “I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried.”
McCain also raised concerns about how the new health care proposal would be financed.
“Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it,” he continued. “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.”
The close friendship between McCain and the senators who proposed the bill made it difficult to turn it down, he explained, but he plans to hold out until a health care bill that passes muster on both sides of the aisle is drafted.
“I take no pleasure in announcing my opposition. Far from it. The bill’s authors are my dear friends, and I think the world of them. I know they are acting consistently with their beliefs and sense of what is best for the country. So am I,” he said.
“I hope that in the months ahead, we can join with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to arrive at a compromise solution that is acceptable to most of us, and serves the interests of Americans as best we can.”
McCain has been joined by fellow Republican Sens. Rand Paul (KY) and Susan Collins (ME) in opposing the bill. Rand claims that it does not go far enough to get rid of Obamacare, while Collins raised numerous concerns with the changes presented in the bill.