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This Medical Emergency Has Delayed the Senate Health Care Vote

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate GOP Leaders
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has announced he intends to "defer" the vote planned for this week on Senate Republicans' revised Better Care Reconciliation Act due to another member's medical emergency over the weekend. (Reuters photo)

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., hasn't been the best friend of evangelical Christians or President Donald Trump over the last few years, but he really needs our prayers right now.

Saturday afternoon, the senator's office announced he had received emergency treatment for a blood clot that had formed above his left eye on Friday. The senator is OK, but is awaiting word from doctors about a series of tests, including a biopsy of the blood clot, before he knows his prognosis.

The statement reads:

At the request of Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., and his family, Mayo Clinic released the following statement today:

"Following a routine annual physical, Sen. John McCain underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot from above his left eye on Friday, July 14, at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix. Surgeons successfully removed the 5-cm blood clot during a minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision. Tissue pathology reports are pending within the next several days.

"The senator is resting comfortably at home and is in good condition. His Mayo Clinic doctors report that the surgery went 'very well' and he is in good spirits. Once the pathology information is available, further care will be discussed between doctors and the family. In the meantime, his Mayo Clinic care team will not be conducting interviews."

The office of Senator McCain also released the following statement:

"Senator McCain received excellent treatment at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, and appreciates the tremendous professionalism and care by its doctors and staff. He is in good spirits and recovering comfortably at home with his family. On the advice of his doctors, Senator McCain will be recovering in Arizona next week."

The immediate impact of McCain's medical emergency will befall the Senate's revised version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which had been scheduled for a vote later this week. Saturday night, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced that vote would be "deferred."

After BCRA 2.0 was released on Thursday, two Republicans quickly announced they would not support the measure, giving the GOP just 50 potential "yes" votes—which could lead to a tie that could be broken by Vice President Mike Pence. With McCain not expected to return to Washington, D.C., this week, the GOP has no plausible way to 50 votes without help from Democrats—highly unlikely—or some change to the legislation that could bring either Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., or Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, back on board.

Anything short of a bill that fully repeals the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is highly unlikely to bring Paul back into the GOP fold on the bill. Collins has said she wants more funding for Medicaid, and is troubled by the defunding of Planned Parenthood, which is contained in the BCRA; adding provisions that will get her vote are likely to cause other defections in the Republican ranks.

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