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McCain says no to GOP health care bill, putting chances in doubt

Associated Press • Updated Sep 22, 2017 at 2:11 PM

PORTLAND, Maine — The Latest on health care legislation (all times local):

2 p.m.

Sen. John McCain says he won’t vote for the Republican bill repealing the Obama health care law. His statement likely deals a fatal blow to the last-gasp GOP measure in a Senate showdown expected next week.

The Arizona Republican says he can’t back the partisan GOP measure because “we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats.”

He also says he can’t back it without knowing the proposal’s impact on insurance coverage and premiums. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has said its estimates on that won’t be ready next week.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has said he’ll oppose the bill and Maine Sen. Susan Collins says she’s leaning against it.

Republicans control the Senate 52-48. All Democrats oppose the bill so three GOP “no” votes would doom it.

12:50 p.m.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says she’s “leaning against” a Republican proposal to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, despite new pressure from her state’s GOP governor.

Gov. Paul LePage joined Vice President Mike Pence in Washington Friday. LePage says the bill represents the “best chance” to reform the current system and to return decision-making about funding health care to the states.

LePage cites a study from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that says Maine would gain 44 percent more in funding by 2026 under the proposal by Republican Sens. Lindsay Graham and Bill Cassidy. The same analysis shows other states would lose ground.

In Maine, Collins says there are lots of numbers floating around, and she’s awaiting an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office before she makes a final decision.

11 a.m.

Sen. Rand Paul says despite President Donald Trump’s attacks on him for opposing the new GOP health care bill, the measure is a “fake” and he won’t support it.

The Kentucky Republican says in an interview with The Associated Press that the White House “just wants a legislative victory, they’re not as concerned with the policy” in the bill. He says the measure doesn’t really repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law because it leaves most of its tax increases intact.

Trump tweeted Friday that Paul or other Republicans who vote against the bill will “forever ... be known as ‘the Republican who saved ObamaCare.‘”

Paul says top Republicans pushing the measure toward a showdown next week have been “tarting it up with special stuff” to try winning enough votes for it to pass.

He says he doesn’t resent Trump’s Twitter attacks on him for opposing the bill. He says, “I’m a big boy.”

7 a.m.

President Donald Trump is lashing out at a Republican senator who opposes the last-ditch effort to overturn the Obama-era health care law.

On Twitter Friday, Trump says: “Rand Paul, or whoever votes against Hcare Bill, will forever (future political campaigns) be known as ‘the Republican who saved ObamaCare.‘”

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has said he’ll oppose the latest bill because it doesn’t abolish enough of Obama’s 2010 law.

The proposal to scrap President Barack Obama’s health care law would shift money and decision-making from Washington to the states. It nearly has the support it needs for the vote expected next week, a deadline that’s focused the party on making a final run at the issue.

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