WASHINGTON – The Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare is likely “dead,” according to Sen. John McCain.
The Arizona Republican and 2008 GOP presidential nominee said the prospect of passage doesn’t look good when senators return to work this week.
“I think my view is it’s probably going to be dead, but –I’ve been wrong,” McCain told CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I thought I’d be president of the United States. ….I fear that it’s going to fail.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been trying to modify the bill during Fourth of July recess to ease concerns of moderates over Medicaid spending reductions as well placate conservatives wanting more Obamacare repeals. The target date for a vote has been by the end of the month, according to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)
The legislation is unpopular in public opinion polls, but Republicans want to make good on a longstanding campaign promise to repeal President Obama’s healthcare plan they believe is failing.
McCain suggested starting all over and bringing Democrats to the table.
“If you shut out the adversary or the opposite party, you’re going to end up the same way Obamacare did when they rammed it through with 60 votes. Only guess what? We don’t have 60 votes,” McCain said.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is pushing changes to the bill that would allow insurers the freedom to offer skimpier plans as long they still provide one robust plan that meet Obamacare standards. He hopes it could get enough conservatives holdouts on board.
“There’s no doubt this has been a rocky path to getting there, but I continue to believe we can get this done,” Cruz told CBS.