POTUS: GOP Senators Look Like "Fools" After Skinny Repeal Failure

Senators McCain Graham and Johnson threatened to drop their support. REUTERS

US Senator John McCain, who opposed Republican leadership to help quash a healthcare measure in an overnight vote, on Friday said that it was time for Republicans and Democrats to work together for a fresh start on healthcare reform. However, Arizona's John McCain then approached the clerks and declared that he'd also vote No on the bill, dubbed the Health Freedom Act (HFA). "The very same courage he showed as a naval aviator in Vietnam, he showed last night and has shown time and time again", Schumer said.

"We are not celebrating", he said.

Sen. Susan Collins of ME, another of the three Republicans to vote against the GOP plan (Alaska's Lisa Murkowski was the other), said she is pleased that Sen. If any change is to be made to United States healthcare law, Congress will have to begin the process of negotiating and writing a new bill again.

On the other end of the GOP spectrum, conservative Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) called for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to "leave his position" and "let somebody new. bold. and conservative take the reins". He put the healthcare bill on hold.

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"A moment has opened for Congress, and indeed all Americans, to set aside party and personal political interest and pursue the common good of our nation and its people, especially the most vulnerable", he said. Several Republicans, including Johnson, had voiced concerns that the measure did not go far enough, but pledged to support it if they had assurances from the House of Representatives that it would only be used as a vehicle to get the issue into a conference committee.

Buoyed by a signal from House Speaker Paul Ryan that Republicans in the House would be "willing" to talk in order to "move forward", Senator McConnell introduced the pared-down healthcare bill late on Thursday (local time).

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that 16 million Americans would lose health insurance - including 6 million on employer-based policies - along with annual 20 percent premium hikes forecast if "skinny repeal" passed. It would have also suspended a tax on medical devices and denied funding to Planned Parenthood for a year. As the insurance exchanges continue to flounder, a revised bill is vital for Americans. Yet the scenario at hand, with senators trying to pass something while hoping it would not clear the House or become law, was highly unusual.

"The greatness of our country is not measured by the well-being of the powerful but how we have cared for the 'least of these, '" Dewane said.

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