Senate Delays Health Care Bill Vote While John McCain Recovers From Surgery

Senate Delays Health Care Bill Vote While John McCain Recovers From Surgery

USA senator John McCain's absence from the Senate as he recovers from surgery for a blood clot has led the Republican leadership to postpone consideration of healthcare legislation already on the brink.

On Saturday evening, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he would postpone a vote until McCain returns. John McCain had surgery to remove a blood clot near his left eye and has to stay in Arizona all week.

The pressure is on Lee and the handful of other Republican holdouts on the bill meant to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, because Senate leaders can afford to lose only one more GOP vote.

Mayo Clinic Hospital doctors said Saturday that McCain underwent a "minimally invasive" procedure to remove the almost 2-inch (5-centimeter) clot, and that the surgery went "very well". As it stands, there are at least two Senators on record as opposed to the revised Senate plan, with up to ten other Republicans still reportedly on the fence who haven't announced whether they support the bill or not. As the leader of the Senate, McConnell also revealed that the Senate would "defer consideration of the Better Care Act" until McCain returned from recovery.

Two Republicans, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of ME, have already said they'll vote against the measure.

"There are about eight to 10 Republican senators who have serious concerns about this bill", Collins said on CNN's "State of the Union".




Mr. McConnell had said that he wanted to begin debate on the bill and pass it this week, using special fast-track procedures. McCain's absence would have imperiled the bill, which needs the support of 50 of 52 GOP senators to advance. Both McConnell and the White House had claimed that a vote on the bill was planned for this week.

The new measure would allow insurers to sell minimal coverage policies at a cheap rate.

That said, McCain is not anymore gung-ho about the bill than many of his fellow Republicans. Given the razor's edge the bill sits on, if a flood of negative polls or analysis over the next week sways even a single undecided senator, the bill could be derailed. That's because Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) underwent surgery for a blood clot above his left eye.

"The current system is awful", Paul said on Fox News Sunday.

Paul criticized the Republican bill for keeping the same "fundamental flaw" that he said has caused premiums to surge under the Affordable Care Act.

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