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Once more, John McCain clears basic decency bar, says he'll vote no on awful healthcare bill

(Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

You don’t have to have kids to wonder just how we’re going to explain the last year (and—sigh—the next three) to future generations. “Yes, Xanthra, the government did sit idly by while the sea levels and racist, anti-immigrant sentiment rose. Now finish your rations.” (There’s probably no point in including party affiliations in this dystopian fantasy.) But with any luck, subsidized healthcare coverage won’t become just a myth. And if, by some bigger stroke of luck (or just a concerted effort to actually fix what’s wrong with the system), American healthcare still exists in any form 10, 20, or even 50 days/years from now, we’ll tell the story of how Senator John McCain left his mansion one day to say he’d vote no on the latest attempt to repeal Obamacare. And we’ll call it “Doing The Bare Minimum.”

As The New York Times reports, McCain has announced he’s voting against the Graham-Cassidy bill, in the unofficial sequel to his July dissent on the ol’ repeal and replace. “I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal,” McCain said. “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 affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it.” With McCain’s rejection, there’s now a chance the bill will be killed, as two other Republican senators—Rand Paul and Susan Collins—have also said they’ll vote no. Of course, Paul’s issue with the bill is that it’s not quite awful enough, but small favors and all that.


As usual, the bill flew through the Republican corners of the federal government without very much scrutiny, and before the Congressional Budget Office could complete its analysis. Senator Bill Cassidy, who pissed off Jimmy Kimmel this week, said he was “disappointed... but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop working for those folks who can’t afford their premiums. We are still working. We are still hoping.” We assume by “working for” he meant “working against,” since Graham-Cassidy doesn’t really offer a replacement to the “onerous” Obamacare. The proposed legislation would also allow states to waive many key regulations in the Affordable Healthcare Act, such as prohibiting insurers from hiking up premiums based on people’s health.

People are already fawning over McCain for showing a modicum of decency, except for Trump, who will probably amend this tweet shortly.

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