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Sen. John McCain to Miss Week in Senate After Having Surgery


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Saturday that the Senate will delay consideration of the Republican health care bill while McCain recovers from surgery.

In the meantime, however, the delay in the vote provides more time in which another Republican senator may dissent, which would make Trumpcare unpassable.

McConnell tweeted that the Senate will work on other legislative issues and nominations next week and "will defer consideration of the Better Care Act" while McCain is recovering from his surgery.

Two GOP senators had said earlier they would vote against bringing the bill to the floor. Rand Paul and Susan Collins.

"The revised Senate health care bill ... does not include the measures I have been advocating for on behalf of the people of Arizona", the senator said in a statement released Thursday.

But the data actually shows a much more enthusiastic expression of support for the Republicans' bill than when GOP voters are asked simply if they like it. That's another huge problem for Republicans as they struggle to pass health-care legislation: It's not popular, even when compared with Obamacare.

The Kentucky Republican's new legislation changes how much money states that expanded their Medicaid programs for the poor a year ago would get.

House Republicans are giving their Senate colleagues some space to get their health care bill through, but there are already some concerns surfacing about the changes to the bill that could be made through the amendment process and whether they could support the final product.

"Should we proceed, have careful hearings and look at what we can do to make sure that the Medicaid program can continue to be there for future generations without bankrupting the federal budget?" McCain's doctors aren't talking to the media, but outside neurologists told The New York Times that the recovery time for such a procedure like this could be weeks. The Senate plan has proven unpopular with voters, making potentially vulnerable GOP senators more hesitant about supporting it.

The McCain news aside, this was kind of a devastating weekend for the Senate bill. On the advice of his doctors, Senator McCain will be recovering in Arizona next week.

Collins said she's been in touch with members of the Trump administration about the bill, which she calls "a work in progress".

McCain's absence casts doubt on whether the Senate would be able to pass legislation to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act, Democratic former President Barack Obama's signature legislative achievement, commonly known as Obamacare. He says that this bill puts Medicaid on a more sustainable path.

The CBO in its analysis of the first draft of the GOP bill said 22 million people will be uninsured by 2026. McCain was reported to be resting comfortably at his home. He previously had three other malignant melanomas removed, on his left shoulder, left arm and left nasal wall (removed in 1993, 2000 and 2002 respectively).

Axios reports that the White House considers every day without a third Senate defection a victory. "This legislation should reward states like Arizona that are responsibly managing their health-care services and controlling costs - not penalize them".

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