Thumbs Down: McCain, Collins, and Murkowski send ACA Repeal to the Dust Bin 

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

It was an eventful week. In addition to the President’s tweet about baring transgender persons from the military, an action which blindsided the Pentagon leadership and caused a lot of consternation in the military and the GOP, a hyper-political address to the Boy Scouts, another North Korean ballistic missile test, a Congressional vote in favor of more sanctions against Russia, and the end of the attempt by Trump and the GOP leadership the scuttle the Affordable Care Act, more popularity known as Obamacare. 

The end of the GOP Congress’s attempt to repeal the Affordable Health Care came to an appropriate end last night at the hands of Senators John McCain, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski who joined with ever Democrat in the Senate to place the repeal attempts in the dustbin of fail legislation. 

After seven years of ranting and raving, failed votes and shear legislative incompetence the efforts of Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and President Trump demonstrated that hubris, coupled with incompetence is no way to go through life. Ignoring polls which said less than 20% of Americans were in favor of their various legislative proposals; against the advice every major medical association, the insurance industry, the AARP, and even veterans organizations the GOP leadership goaded by President Trump who blatantly ignored his own campaign promises to make healthcare more affordable and available, pressed ahead. 

A good number of GOP Senators voiced concern, but only McCain, Murkowski, and Collins held the line. A number of Senators voted for the doomed act hoping that if it passed the House would do nothing with it, reject it, or send it back. 

McCain stole the show by coming back from Arizona after surgery which revealed that he is suffering from a deadly form of brain cancer, the same type that ended the life of Teddy Kennedy, to cast the final and deciding vote Thursday night. His action, which followed an ovation to welcome him back was dramatic. As the last Senator to vote he walked up to the clerk of the Senate under the glowering face and folded arms of majority leader McConnell, voted no and for dramatic effect turned his thumb down. It was possibly the crowning moment of McCain’s Senate career. I think that he must have relished it. He came back and voted to allow the GOP repeal efforts to come to the floor, and then voted against every one of them. He could have ended things by voting not to allow the vote to go forward, but it seemed that he savored the opportunity to torpedo Trump who had on numerous occasions during the campaign disparaged McCain’s military service, including his years in a North Vietnamese prison camp at a time the President was using ever deferment and excuse that he could to avoid serving in the military. 

In light of his cancer diagnosis this may be one of his last acts in the Senate, I hope not because I think we still need him, but I am a realist and know how devastating this cancer can be. 

But McCain’s dramatic comeback would have been impossible had not Senators Collins and Murkowski held the line, braving physical and political threats from various Republicans and Trump supporters and not wavering in the face of tremendous opposition. 

So the ill-advised, moronic, and badly botched GOP effort to destroy the ACA failed. President Trump appears not to be deterred and will probably do whatever he can to destroy the ACA even as the GOP Senate leadership begins to work with Democrats on a more bipartisan attempt to improve the ACA. 

It was a humiliating end to seven years of bluster to repeal the ACA without any serious effort to come up with something better, especially since the ACA had its origins in the Heritage Foundation and its trial run in Romneycare. It was a Republican proposal put into place by Demcrats alone because Mitch McConnell and othe GOP leaders decided on the day that President Obama was inaugurated to do all they could to make his presidency a failure and him a one-term president. 

Now, no-matter what President Trump says or does, the GOP needs to decided to work with Democrats. This is not about the President’s ego and need to win at all costs. It is about so much more. Healthcare is one of the largest sectors of the economy, public health is a strategic concern that impacts national security. The health and well-being of people impacts every part of our economy and the future of our country. It cannot be left to ideologues bent on destroying our health care system for next quarter’s profits and tax write offs. 

So anyway, until tomorrow,


Padre Steve+



Filed under healthcare, Political Commentary

2 responses to “Thumbs Down: McCain, Collins, and Murkowski send ACA Repeal to the Dust Bin 

  1. Pingback: Thumbs Down: McCain, Collins, and Murkowski send ACA Repeal to the Dust Bin  — Padre Steve’s World…Musings of a Progressive Realist in Wonderland | Talmidimblogging

  2. zebede65

    thank god for that, huge respect to Captain McCain USN (Ret). Fro NZ we see your healthcare system as advanced as it is, a complete shambles. I attended a palliative care conference in Phoenix this year. My discussion with fellow physicians there left me with the resounding message, that in America , the doctors and nurses care, the system cares if you have the money to pay ( the irony is, many/most who have significant disease do not have the money to support the care, and the insurance companies and hoispitals artificially escalate the costs beyond reasonable) but does not if you dont!. The universal mantra is ” you are only one diagnosis away from homelessness and bankruptcy” I have had a couple of NZ patients that went to US to settle and live and contribute positively to your country. One person fainted, and after 3 days investigation for benign transient drop in blood pressure was handed a $US 100,000.00 bill (at that time $NZ 200,000.00) She was shocked, but responsibly insured for such events… problem is her insurer laughed and refused to pay !!!!
    The other person, a nurse , started her job and a little later developed a complex connective tissue disease out of the blue and ended up with rare and severe problems. $US 300,000.00 later and declined the option to fly back to NZ, she was a prisoner in US, with all of her family’s funds siphoned into the “UN caring” US medical system. Her poor husband flew back home to sell all their home and assets to pay the bills. All the while she though part of her work package was medical care… but the used the usual legal small print clauses to back out of their responsibility. If it was a simple broken arm they would have likely been fine. I am aghast! This is not caring, and no wonder there is so much suing going on, it is what people have to do to pay the bills. Problem is the wretched lawyers destroy countless Doctors in the process, very good and appropriately treating doctors. This cannot continue, it is madness and forcing healthcare into oblivion. I am thankful for you that this stand was made against throwing out Obamacare. I understand it is not perfect, but it is a start… Peace out … Dr Dave McKay General practitioner and Palliative Care physician in NZ and Author of the complete history of USS Enterprise CVAN / CVN-65

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