KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Friendship With GOP Health Plan’s Drafter Not Enough To Sway McCain

Some in the party were hopeful that Sen. John McCain's close friendship with the bill's author, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), would be enough to persuade the Arizona lawmaker to reverse his health care vote this time around But McCain said he could not "in good conscience" vote for the proposal.

The Associated Press: McCain's Moment: Ailing Senator Plays Spoiler Again For GOP
Longtime friends and advisers of Sen. John McCain say they're not surprised by his decision to oppose a last-ditch Republican effort to overhaul the nation's health care law. McCain objected to the legislation in part because Senate GOP leaders wanted a vote without holding hearings or debate. The Arizona senator has made a return to "regular order" in the Senate a priority since he came back to Congress following a cancer diagnosis. (Pace and Kellman, 9/25)

The New York Times: McCain Announces Opposition To Republican Health Bill, Likely Dooming It
For months, Mr. McCain has lamented a Senate legislative process that avoided hearings or formal bill-drafting procedures and excluded Democrats. On Friday, he said those tactics were intolerable. “We should not be content to pass health care legislation on a party-line basis, as Democrats did when they rammed Obamacare through Congress in 2009,’’ Mr. McCain said. “If we do so, our success could be as short-lived as theirs when the political winds shift, as they regularly do.’’ (Kaplan and Pear, 9/22)

The Wall Street Journal: McCain Says He Can’t Support Latest GOP Senate Health Bill
A defeat for Graham-Cassidy would be a blow for President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), who threw their support behind the last-ditch legislation just as it gained momentum that surprised even some Republicans. Mr. Trump has regularly criticized Republicans who oppose the party’s health-care efforts, including in a tweet Friday morning aimed at the holdout Mr. Paul. It could also be the death knell of the GOP’s seven-year quest to dismantle former President Barack Obama’s signature health law, often called Obamacare. (Armour and Peterson, 9/22)

Politico: Why McCain Screwed The GOP On Obamacare Repeal — Again
Not even 24 hours after John McCain dramatically tanked a Republican effort to repeal Obamacare in late July, his best friend, Lindsey Graham, started working feverishly in private to try again. Graham — who’s never shown much interest in health care policy — quietly trekked to the White House with Sen. Bill Cassidy to try and sell President Donald Trump on their latest proposal that would transform Obamacare into a block grant program for states. (Everett and Kim, 9/22)

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