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McCain To Vote No On 'Skinny Repeal,' Unless He Knows It Won't Become Law

(Image screengrab of CSPAN.ORG)

Arizona Sen. John McCain will not vote for Republicans' "slimmed" down repeal of the Affordable Care Act unless he knows for sure the legislation won't actually become law.

McCain made those comments during a press conference on Thursday afternoon flanked by three of his Republican allies, including Sen. Lindsey Graham.

It's expected the so-called "skinny repeal" would scrap unpopular provisions of the Affordable Care Act like the requirement to buy insurance or the medical devices tax, but experts warn that approach will send prices soaring. What exactly is in the bill remains unclear.

Republicans see the strategy as a way to keep their efforts to undo Obamacare alive because it would let them go to conference with the House and devise a broader replacement. But McCain is worried the U.S. House could simply pass the bill and said he needs assurance that won't happen.

"My position on this proposal will be largely guided by Governor Ducey's analysis of how it will impact the people of our state," McCain said. "This is legislation that will directly affect the lives of people in my state. I trust my governor. I trust his people and he is looking carefully at this."

McCain has presented several amendments related to Medicaid funding that would address Ducey's concerns about how cuts to the program could hurt Arizona. Those were largely based on the Senate's original bill, though.

On Thursday, Ducey tweeted: "It's no secret Obamacare has been a disaster for Arizona and that I want it repealed and replaced. ... However, I agree with @SenJohnMcCain that the bill on the table clearly isn't the right approach for Arizona."

Sen. Jeff Flake has reportedly said he would vote for the "skinny repeal."

Will Stone grew up with the sounds of public radio. As a senior field correspondent, he strives to tell the same kind of powerful stories that got him into the business — whether that means trudging through some distant corner of the Sonoran Desert or uncovering an unknown injustice right down the street. Since joining the KJZZ newsroom in 2015, he has covered political scandals, fights over the future of energy, and efforts to care for some of Arizona’s most vulnerable communities. His pieces have also aired on national programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now and Marketplace. Before coming to KJZZ, he reported for public radio stations in Nevada and Connecticut. Stone received his degree in English literature from Haverford College, where he also wrote about the arts and culture scene in Philadelphia. After graduating, he interned at NPR West in Culver City, California, where he learned from some of the network’s veteran reporters and editors. When he doesn’t have a mic in hand, Stone enjoys climbing mountains, running through his central Phoenix neighborhood and shamelessly promoting his cat, Barry.