Senate postpones healthcare bill vote over McCain surgery

Following eye surgery to remove a blood clot above Sen. John McCain's left eye, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said a Senate vote on the Republican's Better Care Act would be postponed while the Arizona senator recovers. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

July 16 (UPI) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he will postpone a vote on the Republican healthcare bill while Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., recovers from eye surgery to remove a blood clot.

In a statement released late Saturday, McConnell said the Senate’s Better Care Act will not reach the Senate floor while McCain recovers. McConnell did not disclose when the vote could occur in the statement in which he and his wife Elaine Chao wished McCain a “speedy recovery.”

“Elaine and I, along with the entire Senate family, wish John the very best and wish him a speedy recovery. There are few people tougher than my friend John McCain, and I know he’ll be back with us soon. Our thoughts are with Cindy and his family, his staff and the people of Arizona,” McConnell wrote. “While John is recovering, the Senate will continue our work on legislative items and nominations, and will defer consideration of the Better Care Act.”

Mayo Clinic Hospital said surgeons successfully removed a 5-centimeter blood clot during a “minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision.”

“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,” the hospital said in a statement. “Once the pathology information is available, further care will be discussed between doctors and the family.”

The Better Care Act is the Senate Republican effort to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama‘s Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. The American Health Care Act was the Republican effort in the House, which passed in early May.

All Democrats oppose replacing the ACA, meaning Senate Republicans can only lose two of their 52 votes.

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