McCain’s blood clot surgery stalls Senate vote on Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 July, 2017, 10:54am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 July, 2017, 11:07am

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s deferring consideration of the Republican health care measure. The Senate leader had planned action on the controversial bill next week but Senator John McCain announced on Saturday he would be staying in Arizona following surgery for a blood clot. That put the measure in jeopardy in the closely divided Senate.

McCain had a procedure that removed a 5cm blood clot above his left eye, his office announced in a statement on Saturday. “On the advice of his doctors, Senator McCain will be recovering in Arizona next week,” it said.

Senate Republican had planned to vote next week on the legislation, which would dismantle and replace Obamacare. McConnell needs 50 “yes” votes for passage in a chamber that the Republicans control by a 52-48 margin.

Repealing and replacing President Barack Obama’s signature health care law was a top campaign promise for President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress. But two Republican senators have already declared their opposition to revised legislation that was unveiled on Thursday.

McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, was resting comfortably at home in good condition after Friday’s operation, his office said.

McCain has expressed concern about the health care bill but has not said how he would vote. His surgeons removed the clot during a minimally invasive craniotomy through an incision in the 80-year-old lawmaker’s eyebrow. Tissue pathology reports would be available within the next few days.

“Thanks to @MayoClinic for its excellent care -- I appreciate your support & look forward to getting back to work!,” McCain said in a tweet late on Saturday.