Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) likely decided the fate of the new Obamacare repeal bill Friday when he announced that he won't be backing the legislation.
Why is McCain voting against the bill?
Senator McCain posted a statement on his official Twitter account to explain his decision.
“We should not be content to pass health care legislation on a party-line basis," he said, "as Democrats did when they rammed Obamacare through Congress in 2009. If we do so, our success could be as short-lived as theirs when the political winds shift, as they regularly do. The issue is too important, and too many lives are at risk, for us to leave the American people guessing from one election to the next whether and how they will acquire health insurance. A bill of this impact requires a bipartisan approach."
"I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal," he continued, "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," he added, "how it will affect 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."
Does this mean the bill won't pass?
McCain's "no" vote makes it very likely that the bill won't pass, but there's still a chance for it, depending on what other Senators decide, both Democrat and Republican.
What was the response to McCain's decision?
Many Trump supporters assailed the cantankerous maverick for what they saw as a betrayal of the Trump agenda.
Many on the left praised McCain for what they saw as courage for standing up to his own party.
How did Lindsey Graham react?
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) who is a good friend of McCain but sponsored the repeal bill, offered his thoughts from his Twitter account.
I respectfully disagree with @SenJohnMcCain position not to proceed forward on Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 22, 2017
I know Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson is the best chance to repeal and replace Obamacare.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 22, 2017
It remains to be seen if proponents of the bill will be able to muster enough votes to push the legislation over the top.