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McCain to return from brain cancer treatment for healthcare vote

By Ray Downs
McCain to return from brain cancer treatment for healthcare vote
Sen. John McCain is planning to return to the Senate Tuesday, in time to cast a procedural vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. File Photo by Erin Schaff/UPI | License Photo

July 24 (UPI) -- Sen. John McCain will return to the Senate Tuesday -- in time to cast a vote for Republicans' latest healthcare proposal -- after time off for treatment of his brain cancer.

"Senator McCain looks forward to returning to the United States Senate [Tuesday] to continue working on important legislation, including health care reform, the National Defense Authorization Act, and new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea," a statement from McCain's office read.

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Although the statement didn't mention healthcare, he will arrive in time for a procedural vote on whether to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. He could help the Republican Party reach the 50 votes needed to begin a debate on the measure.

"They were trying to get approval [from his doctors] for his travel arrangements. I've personally volunteered to rent an RV," said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, reported Politico.

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With 52 Republicans in the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can't lose more than two votes to advance his effort to repeal the ACA.

McCain has been a fierce critic of former President Barack Obama's signature health law. His home state of Arizona has seen 116 percent increases in health insurance premiums in recent years.

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But McCain has also been critical of the unpopular Republican plans to replace the ACA, sometimes referred to as "Obamacare," which have so far failed in the Senate.

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"As this law continues to crumble in Arizona and states across the country, we must not repeat the original mistakes that led to Obamacare's failure," McCain said in a statement last week. "The Congress must now return to regular order, hold hearings, receive input from members of both parties, and heed the recommendations of our nation's governors so that we can produce a bill that finally provides Americans with access to quality and affordable health care."

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