Once again, Republicans have taken up the repeal of Obamacare, which many believed had died after John McCain gave a Gladiator-like thumbs down back in July. And they are perilously close to pulling it off. Graham-Cassidy would likely kick millions off their health insurance and turn Obamacare funding into block grants. Like its predecessors, it won’t be scored by the Congressional Budget Office until the last minute (and then only partially). Also like its predecessors, it’s not being moved through committee in anything resembling normal fashion. Because of Senate rules, it has twelve days to pass, meaning that Republicans, once again, are trying to shove a disastrous bill through Congress with minimal scrutiny.
It only takes three Republicans to kill this bill. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins are expected to oppose it. Rand Paul, who voted for the last incarnation of repeal and replace, has come out against this bill, saying that it doesn’t go far enough. But any one of the three could cave. Which means that all eyes are, once again, on John McCain.
Earlier today, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced that he supported the bill. That’s important: McCain has said that he wouldn’t back a bill unless Ducey approved. Given that Lindsey Graham, one of the bill’s architects, is McCain’s best friend, this was a worrying development.
What McCain ultimately does is still anyone’s guess—a terrifying prospect. But when he was asked about the bill earlier today, McCain hit on his other argument against the bill, which is that it is deeply irresponsible.
This doesn’t mean that McCain will ultimately oppose Graham-Cassidy. But it’s still staggering that there is only one Republican in the Senate who is willing to point out that this whole process is insane.