- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 23, 2017

President Trump set his sights on Sen. John McCain early Saturday after the Arizona Republican said he doesn’t support his party’s latest attempt to repeal and replace the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act.

Mr. Trump lashed out at the lawmaker in a series of tweets Saturday morning while calling on a couple make-or-break Republicans to pass the GOP healthcare bill being offered by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

John McCain never had any intention of voting for this Bill, which his Governor loves. He campaigned on Repeal & Replace. Let Arizona down!” Mr. Trump said on Twitter.

“Arizona had a 116% increase in ObamaCare premiums last year, with deductibles very high,” Mr. Trump said in a follow-up tweet.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, New York Democrat, “sold John McCain a bill of goods,” Mr. Trump said in another. “Sad.”

McCain let his best friend L.G. down,” Mr. Trump tweeted, referring to the senator from South Carolina.

The Graham-Cassidy bill introduced last week marks the Republican Party’s latest attempt to dismantle former President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare law, but its odds of passing were practically obliterated after Mr. McCain announced his opposition Friday.

“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal,” Mr. McCain said in a statement. “I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried.”

The bill would end Medicaid expansion in most of the country and overhaul the program’s funding while giving individual states more flexibility with respect to managing federally-backed health insurance plans if passed, but faces an uphill battle without the support of Mr. McCain, a war vet, former White House hopeful and six-term senator recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer.

The proposal needs 51 votes to pass the GOP-controlled Senate, and four of the chamber’s 52 Republicans are currently on the fence or opposed, including Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine.

Absent the support of a single Democrat, the bill is likely dead in the water unless Mr. McCain and the other holdouts change course before a Sept. 30 deadline.

“I know Rand Paul and I think he may find a way to get there for the good of the Party!” Mr. Trump tweeted Saturday.

“Alaska had a 200% plus increase in premiums under ObamaCare, worst in the country. Deductibles high, people angry! Lisa M comes through,” he said on Twitter.

More than 20 million people could potentially lose health insurance coverage if Graham-Cassidy passes, according to a study published Friday by analysts at the Brookings Institution think-tank. The Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan group that typically reviews proposed legislation, previously said it doesn’t have enough time to offers its full assessment of the bill before the Senate’s end-of-month deadline.

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