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Arizona Leaders React To 'Skinny Repeal' Defeat

Arizona Sen. John McCain sent shockwaves through the Senate early Friday morning when he cast the deciding vote rejecting the GOP's heath care effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The reaction among Arizona leaders has been more muted.

Gov. Doug Ducey says he is disappointed Congress was recessing without a health care solution. But he agreed with McCain that the proposed bill was not right for Arizona.

Congressman Paul Gosar used Twitter to express general frustration with the Senate's inaction. But he refrained from criticizing the 80-year-old ailing McCain.

Congressman David Schweikert told KJZZ he was surprised by McCain’s vote and said the Senate did not come through for the House.

Greg Vigdor was relieved when the effort to pass the so-called “skinny repeal” tanked after Sen. John McCain refused to back the measure. But the head of Arizona’s Hospital and Health Care Association isn’t necessarily happy with the status quo, either.

“And all we had was a moment in time where we stopped some bad ideas. Now we need to find the good ideas," said Vigdor.

Going forward, he hopes Congress can undertake reforms, for example lowering the cost of prescription drugs and provide more certainty.

“There are a number of hospitals that I know had plans to do something and they essentially put them on hold through this political conversation because it was a political conversation and not one really about health policy," he said.

Vigdor said the Trump administration could also commit to pay the cost sharing reductions that help low-income people afford insurance on the marketplace.

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.