When Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) was locked in a tough reelection bid last year, he aired TV ads promising to continue his role in “leading the fight to stop Obamacare.”
But when McCain had the opportunity to do just that, and end the individual mandate to purchase health insurance, as required by the Affordable Care Act (better known as ObamaCare), he left his hospital bed in Arizona, traveled to Washington, and voted with the Democrats and against almost all the Republicans to keep it.
McCain’s vote was decisive in killing the proposal, known as “Skinny Repeal.”
This betrayal was noted by the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] and its president, Dan Weber. AMAC bills itself as an alternative to other organizations purporting to represent senior citizens (such as the American Association of Retired Persons, or AARP). Weber argued in a statement that McCain should keep the promise he made to the voters of Arizona to rid the nation of ObamaCare.
“There are much better alternatives to the ACA,” Weber insisted in a statement posted late last week. He added,
Senator McCain put the kibosh on the proposal for reasons that remain unclear. Here’s a hero, both in wartime and peacetime, who has the intestinal fortitude to do the right thing when it counts; and it counts right now. One can only assume that his history of promising a repeal of the Affordable Care Act was sincere when he made it. So, I call on him to keep his promises and take the lead in an effort to fix health care for the American people now — before it is too late.
Some have suggested that Congress could just let the ObamaCare law implode on its own; however, Weber disagrees, stating,
Doing nothing is not an option. In less than two weeks, by August 16, America’s insurers will decide just how much more Americans will have to pay for health coverage next year. Speculation among the experts is rampant that without a congressional solution, sky-high Obamacare premiums may increase by 20 percent or more to new, ludicrously excessive levels in 2018.
Weber rejected the argument made by some that “at least more people are insured.” He retorted, “Offering insurance that is unaffordable is the same thing as having no insurance at all.”
Bearing down on the seriousness of the situation, and by inference the irresponsibility of McCain, Weber noted that in addition to the “prohibitive cost” of insurance, large numbers of individuals will not even be able to purchase ObamaCare insurance “of any type, even if they could afford it,” because insurance companies are pulling out of the health insurance exchanges “at an alarming rate.”
As it stands now, AMAC claims, there are 40 counties in the country where no insurer at all is available. This number is expected to grow to hundreds of counties, Weber warned.
Weber stated it is inevitable that ObamaCare will implode, leaving millions of Americans with no access to healthcare insurance. “That doesn’t have to happen,” he insisted, explaining: “For example, an easy-to-implement solution would be to offer a combination of expanded tax-free Health Savings Accounts, Tele-healthcare and a program of Pro Bono Care under which doctors and nurse practitioners would provide health care services free of charge in exchange for tax deductions.”
And John McCain’s vote is stopping this from happening, Weber said. “All of these improvements and more can be accomplished if John McCain would keep his promise and change his vote.”
AMAC has been fighting ObamaCare since its inception, when its membership was 40,000. Since then, its numbers have exploded to more than one million members.
AMAC was not alone in castigating McCain. The Washington Times’ Cheryl Chumley wrote, “McCain’s thumbs-down was a face-slap moment that will be remembered in history as a textbook classic case of political betrayal.”
Jim Geraghty, writing in National Review, stated, “It’s very difficult to characterize McCain’s decision as ‘leading the fight to stop Obamacare.’ That’s more like leading the fight to keep Obamacare in place.”
McCain has long been known for his desire to “reach across the aisle” to the Democrats, to achieve this or that expansion of government. He has reserved most of his criticisms of fellow members of Congress for his fellow Republicans, famously referring to Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) as “wacko birds” for their concerns about civil liberties. Just last week, McCain castigated Senator Paul for attempting to prohibit the indefinite detention of American citizens by the military or other arms of the federal government.
It is almost getting to the point that were McCain to take a conservative position, defend the civil liberties of American citizens, or support American national sovereignty, that would be newsworthy.
Image: Screenshot of ad by Association of Mature American Citizens