GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona has announced that he will not support Graham-Cassidy, the latest Republican proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
On Sept. 22, McCain announced that he would vote against Graham-Cassidy, potentially squashing his GOP colleagues' hopes of passing the repeal legislation.
"I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal," McCain said in a statement, according to Bloomberg. "I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried."
On Sept. 18, GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana introduced Graham-Cassidy, a bill that would transform the Medicaid funding and federal subsidies of the ACA into state block grants that would expire by 2026, CNN reports.
The Senate majority leader GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, announced that he would hold a chamber vote on Graham-Cassidy before Sept. 30. That date would mark the expiration of Senate Republicans' ability to pass an ACA repeal through budget reconciliation, which would bypass a filibuster from Senate Democrats.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) disclosed that it would not have enough time to offer an estimate of how Graham-Cassidy would impact the premium prices and coverage accessibility in the health care markets before Sept. 30, according to The Washington Post.
McCain noted in his announcement that Graham, one of the bill's co-authors, was his close personal friend.
"I take no pleasure in announcing my position," McCain continued. "Far from it. The bill's authors are my dear friends, and I think the world of them."
Graham took to social media to address McCain's opposition to his bill.
"My friendship with [McCain] is not based on how he votes but respect for how he's lived his life and the person he is," Graham tweeted out.
The South Carolina senator added, "I feel an obligation to fix this disaster and intend to push forward for state-centric health care vs. Washington-knows-best health care."
McConnell would need at least 50 of the current 52 Senate Republicans to vote in favor of Graham-Cassidy in order to advance the bill through budget reconciliation. If three Senate Republicans voted against the bill, it would not pass. In addition to McCain, GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has also voiced definitive opposition to the bill.
The same day that McCain announced his decision, President Donald Trump took to social media to warn Paul and other Senate Republicans against opposing Graham-Cassidy, Politico reports.
"Rand Paul, or whoever votes against [the health care] Bill, will forever ... be known as 'the Republican who saved Obamacare,'" Trump tweeted out.
Paul tweeted back: "I won't be bribed or bullied."
The Kentucky senator added, "I won't vote for Obamacare Lite that keeps 90 percent of the taxes & spending just so some people can claim credit for something that didn't happen."
GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska are reportedly the remaining swing votes for the ACA repeal bill. On Sept. 22, Collins disclosed that she would likely vote against the legislation.
"I'm leaning against the bill. ... We were on our way to producing a bipartisan bill that would have addressed some of these problems," Collins told the Portland Press Herald. "Unfortunately the Graham-Cassidy bill has derailed that effort at least temporarily. That's very unfortunate."