Health care fight

McCain reaped all the headlines, but Collins and Murkowski were crucial to killing Obamacare repeal, too

U.S. President Donald Trump flanked by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (L) of Maine, Lisa Murkowski (2nd R) of Alaska and Orrin Hatch (R) of Utah as Republican senators meet with Trump to discuss the healthcare bill at the White House in Washington, DC, on June 27, 2017. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

As Americans woke up on Friday morning, news headlines heralding the Senate’s Obamacare “skinny” repeal bill failing credited John McCain with being the decisive vote. No doubt, his appearance on the Senate floor in the wake of his recent operation to remove a blood clot from behind his eye and brain cancer diagnosis was dramatic, but overshadowed by all of the McCain hoopla were the crucial contributions of Republican Senators Susan Collins, of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska. They are the other two GOP senators who broke party ranks and led to the bill losing a narrow 51-49 vote in the middle of the night.

Both Collins and Murkowski stood their ground throughout the voting process, despite heavy and very public pressure from men in the Republican party. Earlier this week, U.S. Representative Blake Farenthold of Texas singled the women out for the Senate’s inability to repeal Obamacare and said that if they were men, he’d challenge them to a duel and “settle this Aaron Burr-style.” And then there was the public criticism of Murkowski by the president on Twitter.

In addition, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke called Murkowski and reportedly threatened possible retribution for the state of Alaska if she continued to vote against repealing Obamacare. Both senators, whom were left out of the process to craft the bill in the first place, refused to vote for a bill that could leave millions without health insurance.

“I base my votes on what I believe is in Alaska’s best interest,” Murkowski said, explaining her vote, according to The Washington Post.

Read the full story at Slate and Vox.


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