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Senate to delay health vote

17 July 2017, 08:47 | Lucy Hill

Satisfaction with Medicaid expansion

Medicaid affects millions of Americans, young and old

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said late Saturday that he's postponing plans to begin Senate debate in the next few days after Republican Senator John McCain said he'll be home in Arizona recovering from unexpected surgery.

U.S. Senator John McCain had surgery yesterday to remove a blood clot and will not be in Washington D.C. next week to vote on any health care measures, his office said today.

In Phoenix, Mayo Clinic Hospital doctors said McCain underwent a "minimally invasive" procedure to remove the almost 2-inch (5-centimeter) clot and that the surgery went "very well", a hospital statement said.

The fate of Republican efforts to overhaul the US health care policies championed by former President Barack Obama remained in doubt Sunday, with one key vote delayed that had been set for this week. A statement from the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix said the senator is resting at home "in good condition" and that "the surgery went very well". That means that McConnell, even if he keeps Johnson's vote, will definitely not have 50 votes until McCain returns.

Two GOP senators had said earlier they would vote against bringing the bill to the floor. Paul, much more conservative, said that he wanted the bill to go much further in dismantling the ACA, also commonly referred to as Obamacare.

A week ago, McConnell made a decision to cancel the first two weeks of the Senate's traditional August recess to allow more time for deliberations on the health bill and other issues. The 80-year-old Senate veteran was advised by doctors to remain in Arizona next week, his office said.

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Last month, McConnell had to push back the vote until after the July 4 Congressional recess, because the GOP didn't have enough yes votes to pass the bill. McConnell is trying to nail down 50 of the 52 GOP senators' votes so he can push the measure through his chamber next week.

Paul said he had spoken with Trump as recently as Friday to convey his position on the health care bill. McCain said that he would file amendments that would address concerns of leaders from his state about how the bill would affect Medicaid.

"I am praying for his speedy, speedy recovery", he added, "regardless of its effects on politics one way or the other".

If I were McCain, I'd stay put in that hospital as long as possible.

"Mr. McCain's absence will give the forces of opposition - which include scores of health care provider organizations and patient advocacy groups - more time to mobilize", The New York Times noted.

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