Just in: McConnell forced to put brakes on Obamacare repeal vote

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The Obamacare “repeal and replace” bill is already on life support, with between 8-10 Republican Senators reporting they have “concerns” about the bill. Republicans control the Senate by a 52-48 margin, and all Democrats are expected to oppose the bill, meaning that only four Republicans need to defect for a tie vote.

Their reasoning ranges from the RINOs among us who are upset the bill cuts Medicaid, to fiscal hawks like Rand Paul who don’t think the bill goes far enough, stating that it keeps most of Obamacare’s taxes and subsidies.

While the bill is already unlikely to pass (in its current form, of course), a vote is being delayed as John McCain (who would likely vote in favor) is recovering from surgery.

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According to the Associated PressSen. John McCain’s absence from the Senate as he recovers from surgery for a blood clot has led the GOP leadership to postpone consideration of health care legislation already on the brink.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Saturday night he was deferring action on the measure as McCain recovers at his home in Arizona. Surgeons in Phoenix removed a blood clot from above McCain’s left eye on Friday. The 80-year-old Senate veteran was advised by doctors to remain in Arizona next week, his office said.

“While John is recovering, the Senate will continue our work on legislative items and nominations, and will defer consideration of the Better Care Act,” McConnell said in a statement.

A close vote had already been predicted for the GOP health care bill, with all Democrats and independents coming out against it and some Republicans opposed or undecided. 

What’s the hold-up guys? You tried to repeal Obamacare countless times during Barack Obama’s presidency knowing that the president would never sign it.

The big debate is over the “replace” part of the “repeal and replace” mantra, because no Senate Republicans disagree that Obamacare should indeed be repealed. At that point, why not vote to repeal it, and then pass a new healthcare plan to replace it with later? Besides, when doctors remove a cancer, they don’t stand around to debate what they’re going to replace it with.

[Note: This post was written by Matt Palumbo. He is a co-author of the new book A Paradoxical Alliance: Islam and the Left, and can be found on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]
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