Well, the John McCain love fest didn’t last very long—it was clubbed over the head by reality. The Arizona Senator, who was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer, is heading back to the Senate today to vote yes on the GOP Obamacare repeal bill. According to CBO estimates, and depending on what the bill actually looks like, the new overhaul will insure 22-32 million fewer people over the next decade. If it’s a direct repeal, the number will be closer to 32 million; if it looks like the House bill, closer to 22 million.
The maverick strikes again.
While we can certainly feel for John McCain and his family in dealing with this horrible diagnosis, it’s impossible to ignore the brutal irony churning beneath the surface. Essentially what we have here is a man currently battling cancer, rushing back to pass legislation that will make it far more difficult for millions to receive affordable cancer treatment. Moreover, the senate is currently exempt from many provisions of the replacement plan.
HE’S EXEMPT FROM THE LEGISLATION HE’S PASSING.
Two weeks ago, McCain, who was at home recovering from surgery to remove a blood clot over his eye, said the following regarding the GOP health care bill:
“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.”
Now, however, it seems McCain sees no need for regular order, discussion, hearings, recommendations or input. As usual, his maverickism extends only to words. For decades, McCain has been a go-to source for newsworthy quotes. He’s never been afraid of lightly criticizing his own party to the media, but his statements are very rarely accompanied by actions.
When it comes down to it, he falls in line. He always falls in line. McCain has never been able to see the brazen incongruity of his statements vs. his record—and he’s not going to change now.
As an 80-year-old man, facing a potentially fatal diagnosis, John McCain is riding back into town to set in motion legislation that will negatively impact the lives of millions of Americans—many of whom are currently suffering or will at some point be dealing with a diagnosis similar to his own.
I would say this particular brand of aggressive irony is stunning, but it’s not, it’s predictable.
Jesse Mechanic is the editor in chief of The Overgrown.