Arizona Senator John McCain will be back home to deal with an blood clot in one of his eyes, derailing the push towards a vote on the Senate Healthcare Bill.
With two Republican Senators already against the bill, Republicans need McCain’s vote not just to pass the bill but to even bring the bill to the floor. While he is recuperating from surgery, Senate will be on full standby.
While we wish McCain a speedy recovery and believe that he will be fine, it does seem oddly reminiscent of another unexpected health variable back in 2010.
When Democrats were desperately trying to pass Obamacare, the Republican Senators were in full filibuster mode to slow down the process. Democrats, thanks to the 2008 surge of Obama, had a supermajority of 60 Senators which allowed them to block any filibuster efforts.
Well that is until the death of Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy.
Kennedy’s death and the subsequent election of Republican Scott Brown made Obamacare look dead on arrival for Democrats.
Good news for Democrats was that they were able to pass the bill regardless, even with the warts and flaws within it.
Republicans look to do the same, but just like in 2010, the road appears treacherous.
This morning, Senator Susan Collins said that between 8-10 Republicans have concerns about the bill. There are only 52 Republicans in the Senate and the problem is that their concerns run the political spectrum, from fear that this bill goes to far to not going far enough.
Americans are anxious. They want clarity as to what the future of healthcare in America is going to look like. For the record, insurers and doctors would like to know what is happening too.
McCain’s blood clot is another unexpected turn in this crusade that has been going on for seven years to repeal and replace Obamacare.
What will the next step be? How will Mitch McConnell find 50 votes and what are the ramifications if he cannot?