Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released the following statement today on the revised Senate health care bill:
“In its zeal for hard work, the Senate has completed another laborious week by passing a whopping total of three nominations. The Senate will now adjourn and senators will head home for a long weekend in our respective states, leaving Washington with no timetable for authorizing funding for our troops, no consensus on how to fund the government, no path forward on regular appropriations bills, and no plan to address the debt limit. And while we mull over another revision to the Senate health care bill, we still lack consensus on how to repeal and replace the failed policies of Obamacare, a law that is imploding in the State of Arizona as premiums skyrocket and insurers flee the marketplace. This is not what the American people expect of us, and it’s not what they deserve.
“The revised Senate health care bill released today does not include the measures I have been advocating for on behalf of the people of Arizona. That’s why if the Senate takes up this legislation, I intend to file amendments that would address the concerns raised by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and other leaders across our state about the bill’s impact on Arizona’s Medicaid system. Arizona has been nationally recognized for running one of the most efficient and cost-effective Medicaid programs in the country. This legislation should reward states like Arizona that are responsibly managing their health care services and controlling costs – not penalize them.
“Have no doubt: Congress must replace Obamacare, which has hit Arizonans with some of the highest premium increases in the nation and left 14 of Arizona’s 15 counties with only one provider option on the exchanges this year. But if we are not able to reach a consensus, the Senate should return to regular order, hold hearings and receive input from senators of both parties, and produce a bill that finally provides Americans with access to affordable and quality health care.”
If the Senate proceeds to the revised health care bill, Senator McCain plans to file amendments that would ensure Arizona is not penalized for voters’ decision in 2000 to expand Medicaid before the Affordable Care Act was enacted; extend the phase-out period of Medicaid expansion to provide states like Arizona the necessary time to adjust their budgets so citizens don’t have the rug pulled out from under them; and change the growth rate for Medicaid so that Arizona is not punished for operating a successful Medicaid program that cuts costs and streamlines services.