John McCain announces opposition to health care bill, Jeff Flake supports it

Posted at 11:00 AM, Sep 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-23 09:34:10-04

Sen. John McCain says he won't vote for the Republican bill repealing the Obama health care law. His statement likely deals a fatal blow to the last-gasp GOP measure in a Senate showdown expected next week.

The Arizona Republican says he can't back the partisan GOP measure because "we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats."

The bill is the latest effort to replace and repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, by the GOP, this time led by Senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. 

Sen. Jeff Flake says he supports the bill and spoke in Mesa on Friday afternoon. In a statement, the senator said: 

"I've voted against Obamacare more than 30 times, and Graham-Cassidy is the best shot I've seen for a repeal and replace bill to get signed into law. I have the utmost respect for Senator McCain but I disagree with him on this bill, which is supported by Governor Ducey. Graham-Cassidy will give Arizona the flexibility it needs to innovate and lower premiums while maintaining protections to ensure access to quality, affordable care for individuals with preexisting conditions."

McCain also says he can't back it without knowing the proposal's impact on insurance coverage and premiums. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has said its estimates on that won't be ready next week.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has said he'll oppose the bill and Maine Sen. Susan Collins says she's leaning against it.

Republicans control the Senate 52-48. All Democrats oppose the bill so three GOP "no" votes would doom it.