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McCain explains why he voted to kill 'skinny' Obamacare repeal bill

The Hill logo The Hill 7/28/2017 Aida Chavez
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Video by Wochit News

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said on Friday that he voted against the "skinny" of Obamacare because he did not believe it would "actually reform our health care system" and ensure Americans have proper coverage.

"While the amendment would have repealed some of Obamacare's most burdensome regulations, it offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health care to our citizens," McCain said in his first statement after voting to kill the bill.

"The Speaker's statement that the House would be 'willing' to go to conference does not ease my concern that this shell of a bill could be taken up and passed at any time."

McCain cast the crucial surprise vote that killed the Senate GOP Obamacare repeal bill early Friday and, at least temporarily, ended the GOP's hopes of eliminating former President Obama's signature legislation.

Before voting, McCain would not say how he would vote but told reporters to "wait for the show" as he arrived for the vote in the Senate chamber. Later, McCain was seen giving Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) a thumbs down, signaling his intentions.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) speaks with reporters after voting against the "skinny repeal" health care bill on Capitol Hill in Washington: Senator John McCain speaks with reporters after voting against the "skinny repeal" health care bill on Capitol Hill. Healthcare on the Hill

Slideshow by Reuters

Voting shortly after midnight, McCain, who returned to the Senate on Tuesday after undergoing surgery related to brain cancer, joined GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Murkowski in opposing the bill that would have repealed key parts of Obamacare.

McCain said that he's repeated time and time again that one of the "major failures" of Obamacare was that it was "rammed through Congress by Democrats on a strict-party line basis without a single Republican vote."

"We should not make the mistakes of the past that has led to Obamacare's collapse, including in my home state of Arizona where premiums are skyrocketing and health care providers are fleeing the marketplace," McCain said.

"We must now return to the correct way of legislating and send the bill back to committee, hold hearings, receive input from both sides of aisle, heed the recommendations of nation's governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people."

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