John McCain made his dramatic return to the Senate on Wednesday to cast the deciding vote to allow Mitch McConnell to proceed with attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
It was a vote of appalling hypocrisy.
McCain was able to pay for his surgery—and the likely exorbitant costs for future treatment of his brain tumor—because, as a member of Congress, he’s entitled to government-subsidized insurance.
His vote gave Mitch McConnell the ability to strip millions of other Americans of government-subsidized insurance that’s available to McCain and other members of Congress.
McCain’s subsequent speech lamenting the McConnell’s process for ramming through Obamacare repeal only increased McCain’s hypocrisy, since his actual vote enabled McConnell proceed with his efforts to repeal Obamacare.
McCain’s office failed to respond to CNN’s request on how McCain gets his insurance. But there are several possibilities, all subsidized by the government. Most members of Congress get their insurance on the DC health exchange, which offers high quality plans, and for which the Federal government subsidizes 72%-75% of the premiums. Alternatively, McCain may also quality for VA benefits or Medicare. In all cases, his health care his heavily subsidized by the Federal government.
Now McCain is enabling McConnell to take health insurance away from over 20 million Americans.
If the Republican Congress is going to take away government-subsidized health care from millions of Americans, then it should take it away from itself.
Let John McCain and other Senators and representatives seek private insurance with no guaranties they won’t be denied for pre-existing conditions, or face astronomical premiums and high deductibles.
Is this what McCain wants on his tombstone? “R.I.P. I took healthcare away from 20 million Americans.”
McCain still has a chance to redeem his legacy by voting against all of the A.C.A. repeal bills that McConnell may try to put forward.
Will his legacy be depriving millions of Americans of health care that McCain himself is entitled to? Or will he rehabilitate his image as a maverick by standing up to McConnell?