The final vote for the Health Care Freedom Act, designed to eliminate core components of the Affordable Care Act, went down on a 49-51 vote, with Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, John McCain of Arizona and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska joining with all 46 of the chamber’s Democrats and both of its independents to defeat the measure.
Just before the vote, it became apparent that Republicans did not have the support they needed, as McCain came to the floor and told GOP leaders he planned to vote no. Collins and Murkowski had looked apt to vote no all week after opposing the motion to proceed to the initial legislation.
For nearly an hour, Republicans ― including Vice President Mike Pence, who was on-hand to break a tie ― tried to persuade McCain and Murkowski to no avail. They had made up their minds.So, Sen. McCain must've listened to the words he spoke a few days ago about the unprecedented violations of Senate norms by the unspeakably venal Sen. Mitch "Missy" McConnell. Good for McCain, Collins and Murkowski, and for us (for now).
It's too soon to say where the Republican efforts to take health insurance from millions of Americans goes from here. It would appear that there's not going to be any momentum to move forward on a Republican- only effort in the Senate. But we've seen this movie before, where defeat was snatched out of the jaws of victory in the House, and we can't be complacent.
More reaction today as things sink in.
UPDATE: Charles Pierce has some interesting background on the goings- on before and after the vote.
UPDATE II: As Diva notes in the comments, give lots of props to yourselves and to Sen. Schumer and Senate Democrats who stuck together all along. Also, while the media is doing its usual slurping of McCain, let's not forget something:
(Unfortunately, Sen. Schumer then proceeded to "both sides do it" in his appeal for regular order. My gawd man.)Collins was challenged to a duel and Murkowski was threatened with an ass-kicking and politically with harm to her state. They persisted.— Danielle Blake (@abradacabla) July 28, 2017