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During a speech in California, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) thanked Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona for dealing a crippling blow to the Graham-Cassidy ObamaCare replacement bill.
“Thank you, John McCain,” Sanders said during a stump speech for single-payer health care.
“The time has come for a Medicare-for-all, single-payer program, and I am proud to stand before you having introduced that legislation in the Senate,” he said.
Sanders noted he has 16 Democratic senators cosponsoring his bill, and Blake Burman reported that 120 House Democrats are on board as well.
McCain said Friday he would join Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in voting against the legislation, albeit for different reasons.
Paul said he would vote only for a bill that fully repealed ObamaCare and kept health care out of the federal government’s power.
The news leaves the vote very close for Republicans, who hold a 52-48 majority in the Senate.
Burman noted that some of the big-name senators to join Sanders are also floated as possible presidential contenders in 2020.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker (D), along with Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) all support the self-described democratic socialist’s bill.
On Thursday, Rep. Matthew Cartwright (D-Pa.) was widely criticized for insensitive remarks about McCain and the vote.
Cartwright told voters in Schuylkill County, Pa. that McCain would likely take the Democrats’ side on the bill because he was “staring death in the face” following his recent cancer diagnosis.
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