Sen. John McCain today threatened the future of a major Republican proposal for overhauling the Affordable Care Act health insurance system, the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill, by saying he will oppose it.
The Arizona Republican said in a statement that he objects to the idea of Republicans relying entirely on votes from Republican lawmakers to ram a health insurance bill through Congress.
“The issue is too important, and too many lives are at risk, for us to leave the American people guessing from one election to the next whether and how they will acquire health insurance,” McCain said. “A bill of this impact requires a bipartisan approach.”
(Related: 10 Medicare for All and Graham-Cassidy Highlights, for Agents)
Republicans have 52 seats in the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will bring the Graham-Cassidy bill to the floor for a vote in the Senate if he thinks the bill has 50 votes.
At press time, McCain was the second senator to come out openly against the Graham-Cassidy bill.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has already come out against it, saying it keeps too much of the ACA intact.
Another Republican, Susan Collins of Maine, has expressed concerns about the bill.
Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has said she is still analyzing the bill.
It’s possible that McConnell could find a way win back the support of senators who have said they will oppose the bill.
The 2018 federal fiscal year ends Oct. 1, and the individual major medical open enrollment period for 2018 is set to start Nov. 1.