Graham Cassidy health care bill: McCain won’t support, Dem says



Senator
John McCain (R-AZ) speaks during a press conference about his
resistance to the so-called “Skinny Repeal” of the Affordable
Care Act on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 27,
2017.

REUTERS/Aaron P.
Bernstein


A Pennsylvania congressman predicted this week that Sen.
John McCain won’t support the GOP’s newest efforts to repeal
and replace the Affordable Care Act because
the Republican senator, recently diagnosed with an
aggressive form of brain cancer, is “staring death in the
face.” 

Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright, taped while
speaking at a town-hall
 event Tuesday, said he was
somewhat worried about McCain’s vote on the bill, known as
Graham-Cassidy. But he suggested McCain’s illness would help
him “make good choices.”

“Man, something tells me McCain, he’s staring death in the face
right now, so he’s probably going to make good choices and he’s
not going to bend to political pressure,” Cartwright said. 

The senator’s daughter, Meghan, condemned the remark on
Twitter on Thursday, calling it “disgusting and macabre.”

Cartwright put out a statement later on Thursday apologizing for
his comments and expressing his “deep admiration” for
McCain. 

“I want to express my deep admiration for Senator McCain and
gratitude for his service to our nation. I have reached out to
apologize directly to him and his family for my statement about
his illness, which I agree was insensitive, and which has clearly
offended the McCain family,”
Cartwright said
. “I know he will continue to fight for the
people of Arizona and this country during his courageous battle
with this disease. I wish him a speedy and full recovery.”

McCain returned to the Senate full-time two weeks ago after
undergoing brain surgery this summer and won accolades from
Democrats when he became one of three Republicans
to vote
against
the GOP’s last healthcare bill. 

The senator has consistently insisted that Congress “return
to regular order” and work out bipartisan legislation with
committee markups and hearings. 

“Our healthcare insurance system is a mess. We all know it,
those who support Obamacare and those who oppose it. Something
has to be done,”
McCain said in July
. “We Republicans have looked for a way to
end it and replace it with something else without paying a
terrible political price. We haven’t found it yet, and I’m not
sure we will. All we’ve managed to do is make more popular a
policy that wasn’t very popular when we started trying to get rid
of it.”

While McCain is under pressure to yield to his Republican
colleagues — and the bill’s cosponsor, Lindsey Graham, is a close
friend — he told reporters on Monday that he would continue to
press for “regular order.” 

“I am not supportive of the bill yet,” McCain said of
Graham-Cassidy
. “It’s not so much 60 votes that I care about,
it’s a bipartisan approach to the issue is what I mostly care
about.”

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