What an amazing week in American history.
The US Senate tried desperately to keep the repeal Obamacare train rolling.
While there are 100 Senators, it ultimately came down in many ways to John McCain.
The Arizona Senator, fresh off a surgery to remove an eye clot and a diagnosis of inoperable brain cancer, returned to a huge ovation and was the deciding “yes” vote to open debate on the healthcare reform.
With Shelly Capito of West Virginia voting in favor, there were only two of the 52 Republicans to vote against putting a bill on the floor, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Without McCain it would have been a 49-50 loss but instead the tie allowed Vice President Mike Pence to push the debate onto the floor.
McCain moments later gave an impassioned speech, aware of his newfound role in all of this. He said the Healthcare Reform must be changed, he would not support the current bill without amendments even though he knew that Obamacare was falling apart.
Well hours later he did vote for the BCRA, the 1st attempt to repeal and replace, angering many who saw a disconnect with his words and actions.
Turns out they just needed to wait.
The so-called “skinny repeal” that tried to eliminate the most unpopular elements of Obamacare but would leave 16 million more uninsured according to the CBO Report was on the precipice of passing, once again thanks to Capito voting yes.
Well at 1:30 in the morning, McCain the Maverick, proved why he has the moniker in the first place.
His “no” made it a 49-51 defeat for the last effort to reform Obamacare before the summer break. The move clearly surprised people, you could hear gasps in the background.
The juxtaposition of Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speaking and tearing up at the action of John McCain with Mike Pence’s motorcade leaving at the same time was jarring.
So here’s what we know.
The seven year promise to repeal and replace Obamacare remains unfulfilled. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it is time to “move on” but what does that mean?
Yes, there are more problems to tackle but Obamacare is a problem. It is flawed.
Premiums are going up.
The uncertainty has not gone away it has only gotten worse.
President Trump appears to be right that Obamacare will fail without work from both parties to at least tweak and adjust it.
We know that McCain is going to remain a strong political voice until the end.
We know that the August break will only put more pressure on Congress to accomplish things.
We know that conservatives are angry, but Democrats are assured of nothing moving forward.
We also know that democracy is a delicate thing. The past decade has shown some really bad, shady and immoral practices from both parties in the vein of winning.
Politics may be a zero-sum game but humanity is not. We need to do better serving the people instead of our party interests.
The consequences are literally life and death.