In late July, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) brought high drama to D.C. while loudly declaring “no” as the final vote on the GOP’s last “skinny repeal” effort to replace Obamacare. Well, McCain is bringing the theatrics again after a ast-ditch effort by GOP Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy to push through a Republican healthcare bill of some kind. Any kind! And as everyone knows by now, Jimmy Kimmel has become the public face (and name) of the crusade against the bill, which was scant on details and would likely remove preexisting-condition coverage and rule out insurance for millions.
CNN reports that McCain, who recently returned to the Senate following his own battle against brain cancer, has once again flouted party lines. In doing so, he’s declaring his refusal to vote for the Graham-Cassidy bill:
“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried. Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will effect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it. 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.”
Well, Kimmel heard the news, and he is ecstatic. He tweeted, “Thank you @SenJohnMcCain for being a hero again and again and now AGAIN.”
Kimmel’s involvement in the fight against the Obamacare repeal began due to his son’s life-threatening healthcare issues. Senator Bill Cassidy has since tried to woo him into supporting the GOP’s efforts while placing Kimmel’s name on a very public test of the bill, thereby bringing greater scrutiny to the legislation that Cassidy wanted to push through. Unfortunately for the GOP, few details on the bill’s specifics, a lack of a CBO score, and some blatant lies regarding its contents have led to this outcome.
Can the GOP possibly recover before next week’s vote? They only have until September 30 to pass something with 50 senatorial votes. Rand Paul has already expressed his opposition, and McCain has likely dealt a fatal blow.