Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
President Donald Trump speaking as he meets with South Korean president Moon Jae-in during the U.N. General Assembly in New York, September 21, 2017.
President Donald Trump on Saturday upbraided Arizona Senator John McCain for disappointing the voters of his state, saying the senator ‘let Arizona down’ by opposing the GOP’s latest effort to reform health care, imperiling the Republicans’ drive to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
For the second time in two months, The 2008 Republican nominee dealt a fatal blow to his party’s attempt to fix Obamacare. In a statement on Friday, McCain said that he could not, “in good conscience,” vote for the proposal known as Graham-Cassidy — despite the legislation being sponsored by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, one of McCain’s closest Senate allies.
In a dramatic late-night vote in July, McCain — who has cultivated a reputation as a “maverick” with an independent streak — voted no on a similar attempt by the GOP to reform health care.
On Twitter, Trump blasted McCain for his refusal to vote for the bill, saying he “never had any intention” of voting for Graham-Cassidy, adding that he “let Arizona down” by opposing it.
The proposal has also been criticized by the Medicaid directors in all 50 states, who issued a joint letter this week that said Graham-Cassidy would place a massive financial burden on the states.
The bill passage hinged on support from four undecided Republicans. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she is leaning toward voting no on Graham-Cassidy. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has already expressed his opposition to the bill, which he said didn’t fully repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Trump, however, praised Paul on Saturday, predicting he would ultimately back an effort “for the good of the party.”
–CNBC’s Christina Wilkie contributed to this report.