McConnell Defers Senate Health Bill Consideration After McCain's Surgery

Elias Hubbard
July 17, 2017

Sen. John McCain underwent surgery to remove a blood clot above his left eye and will stay in Arizona to recover next week - denying Republicans a key vote in their push to repeal Obamacare, where the GOP already has no room for error.

US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell late Saturday night announced a delay to vote on a Republican bill to repeal and replace the country's health-care program.

In Phoenix, Mayo Clinic Hospital doctors said McCain underwent a "minimally invasive" procedure to remove the almost two-inch (five-centimeter) clot and that the surgery went "very well", a hospital statement said. "He is in good spirits and recovering comfortably at home with his family", McCain's office said.

As for McCain, there were plenty of well wishes for the Senator from Arizona. With Democrats unanimously opposed, Mr. McConnell can not afford more than two defections from his 52-seat majority to even take up the bill.

As available, more information on Senator McCain's progress will be made public.

Any delay in the Senate will give critics more time to mobilise opposition to the bill.

McConnell tweeted that the Senate will work on other legislative issues and nominations next week and "will defer consideration of the Better Care Act" while McCain is recovering.

McCain has expressed concern about the healthcare bill but has not said how he would vote.

Meanwhile, Mr. McCain's office said the senator is doing well.

Governors of both parties have sharply criticised the Senate bill, drafted mainly by McConnell. "[The current bill] does not include the measures I have been advocating for on behalf of the people of Arizona", he said.

"But if we are not able to reach a consensus", he continued, "the Senate should return to regular order, hold hearings and receive input from senators of both parties, and produce a bill that finally provides Americans with access to affordable and quality health care".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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