Arizona Senators Vote To Begin Debate On ACA Repeal, Replacement

Published: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 4:00pm
Updated: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 4:10pm
U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona

Arizona’s two senators have cast their votes in favor of starting debate on a repeal and replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

John McCain, still recovering from brain surgery, flew to Washington, D.C., to cast one of the final votes, but that doesn’t mean he likes what Republicans have offered so far.

“I will not vote for this bill as it is today," McCain told senators moments after the vote. “It is a shell of a bill right now. We all know that. I have changes urged by my state’s governor that will have to be included to earn my support for final passage of any bill.”

McCain went onto chastise his colleagues for not working together and instead listening to the "loudmouths" on the radio and television.

McCain has previously said he’d filed amendments to the Senate's revised Better Care Reconciliation Act to ensure Arizona doesn’t see such deep cuts to its Medicaid program and to extend the phase-out period for Medicaid expansion. Without the enhanced funding for the expansion population, more than 400,000 people who have joined Arizona’s Medicaid program since the ACA could lose coverage.

Meanwhile as the Senate prepared to vote, mayors from Arizona cities were calling for a bipartisan approach to fixing the health-care law.

Mesa Mayor John Giles, a Republican, and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, a Democrat, joined a host of mayors from around the country to say the GOP replacements, both the House and Senate versions, would simply shift health-care costs to state and local governments.

While he appreciates that Republicans are trying to be fiscally responsible, Giles said none of the legislation so far actually lives up to that goal.

“It looks like the federal government is trying to run away from a burning building. And that is not what cities do. That is not an option for us. We are the bottom tier safety net when it comes to providing medical care,” Giles said.

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