Will we ever be released from this horrendous time loop where Republicans introduce a plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and leave millions of Americans without health insurance, and then botch the attempt? Answer: no. As of this afternoon, Senator John McCain is looking like he’ll get to take credit for killing the third (or is it fourth?) attempt to pass a bad GOP healthcare bill.
After previously tanking the last Republican-led effort to roll back Obamacare this summer, the Arizona senator announced Friday that he plans to vote against the current repeal bill up for consideration, this one drafted by Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina (who, in an awkward twist, is one of McCain’s closest friends) and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.
“I cannot in good conscience vote for Graham-Cassidy,” McCain said in a statement emphasizing that he can’t back the bill “that affects one-fifth of our economy and every single American family will be subject to reversal with every change of administration and congressional majority.”
McCain will join Maine Senator Susan Collins and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who previously said they don’t back the bill. Republican leaders in the Senate could only afford to lose the votes of three of their own senators given the party’s slim majority, and the bill also faced an aggressive legislative timeline, with a September 30 deadline for consideration. So...RIP Obamacare repeal, for now, yet again.
Update, 9/26: Graham-Cassidy is officially and truly dead—so dead, in fact, that it won’t even come up for a vote.
See you in hell, fellas!