I tried as best I could to follow events by peeking at Twitter, but by bedtime it looked like curtains for the Affordable Care Act...which would mean curtains for real for some who would lose coverage.
I was blown away to learn this morning that John McCain earned Uber-Maverick status by his vote, which effectively killed this attempt to repeal (and maybe replace) the ACA.
I did not see this coming. In fact, when he came back from his hospital stay and voted for the Motion to Proceed, I was feeling pretty snarky. It seemed to me that he came back from receiving health care to a vote to take it away from others.
I was SOOOO wrong and I apologize to Senator McCain for even thinking this.
Instead, he chose that dramatic moment to act with the all too rare courage of a statesman. A longtime opponent of the ACA, he wants whatever happens with health care to be an improvement for the American people done in an open and transparent way.
Here's his statement:
"From the beginning, I have believed that Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with a solution that increases competition, lowers costs, and improves care for the American people. The so-called ‘skinny repeal’ amendment the Senate voted on today would not accomplish those goals. While the amendment would have repealed some of Obamacare’s most burdensome regulations, it offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health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. 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.
“I’ve stated 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. 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. We must do the hard work our citizens expect of us and deserve."
Talk about a profile in courage. I hope his stand will help bring about a ration effort to fix what's broken with the ACA while keeping what works, one that follows the oath of Hippocrates: "First do no harm."
Talk about a movie ending--one that I'd like to see.
Thank you, Senator McCain! I wish there was more of this kind of courage closer to home.