AZ Senators split over ObamaCare repeal

Posted: Updated:
Arizona's two Republican senators are split over their party's latest effort to repeal Obamacare. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Arizona's two Republican senators are split over their party's latest effort to repeal Obamacare. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona's two Republican senators are split over their party's latest effort to repeal Obamacare.

Sen. Jeff Flake voted Wednesday for a straight repeal of the Affordable Care Act while Sen. John McCain voted against, dealing another set back to the GOP.

The vote was also remarkable because two years ago McCain and Flake voted in favor of a similar bill to repeal the ACA while delaying a replacement for two years.

McCain's change of heart appears to reflect his commitment to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.

Earlier in the week, McCain forcefully said the Arizona governor will have a say on any health-care changes enacted in the Senate.

"I have changes urged by my state's governor that will have to be included to earn my support for final passage of any bill," McCain said Tuesday during a floor speech marking his return to the Senate after being diagnosed with brain cancer.

McCain introduced several amendments reflecting Ducey's healthcare priorities.

The three proposals would slow the phase out of Medicaid expansion and soften the financial hit to Arizona.

While McCain is fully committed to Ducey, Flake sounded less than committed.

When asked if he backed Ducey's health-care request, Flake said, "It's moot right now," because there is no bill to add the amendments too.

But Flake would not what he would do in the future.

Right now, Flake faces a different political reality than McCain, as Arizona's junior Senator faces reelection next year.

It's worth noting that one of Flakes biggest supporters is putting pressure on Republicans to vote for the GOP health-care bill.

FreedomWorks called Republicans who voted against their party's health proposal as "traitors."

In 2012, Freedomworks for America spent over $1 million to get Flake elected to the Senate.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

Hide bio

  • Featured VideoMore>>

  • ASU researcher part of secretive team that investigated neutron star collision

    ASU researcher part of secretive team that investigated neutron star collision

    Wednesday, October 18 2017 2:42 AM EDT2017-10-18 06:42:17 GMT
    It’s a scientific achievement that’s being hailed as a “new era for astrophysics,” and a researcher at Arizona State University was part of the secretive international team that investigated it. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)It’s a scientific achievement that’s being hailed as a “new era for astrophysics,” and a researcher at Arizona State University was part of the secretive international team that investigated it. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    It’s a scientific achievement that’s being hailed as a “new era for astrophysics,” and a researcher at Arizona State University was part of the secretive international team that investigated it.

    More >

    It’s a scientific achievement that’s being hailed as a “new era for astrophysics,” and a researcher at Arizona State University was part of the secretive international team that investigated it.

    More >
  • Caught on camera: Utility worker berates a customer

    Caught on camera: Utility worker berates a customer

    Wednesday, October 18 2017 2:22 AM EDT2017-10-18 06:22:25 GMT
    A San Tan Valley man said a Johnson Utilities worker berated him. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)A San Tan Valley man said a Johnson Utilities worker berated him. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    A San Tan Valley man says he called to complain about damage to his curb that he believes was the work of Johnson Utilities. When a worker arrived to survey the damage, he began to berate the customer.

    More >

    A San Tan Valley man says he called to complain about damage to his curb that he believes was the work of Johnson Utilities. When a worker arrived to survey the damage, he began to berate the customer.

    More >
  • Bannon boosts Flake challenger, snubs Trump plea to back off

    Bannon boosts Flake challenger, snubs Trump plea to back off

    Wednesday, October 18 2017 1:12 AM EDT2017-10-18 05:12:31 GMT
    Former presidential strategist Steve Bannon plans to appear with Arizona Senate candidate Kelli Ward in a program headlined by conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. (Sources: KelliWard.com, AP, Deborah Feingold)Former presidential strategist Steve Bannon plans to appear with Arizona Senate candidate Kelli Ward in a program headlined by conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. (Sources: KelliWard.com, AP, Deborah Feingold)

    Former presidential strategist Steve Bannon doubled down on his criticism of the GOP establishment at a Tuesday night fundraiser for a challenger to Arizona's incumbent Sen. Jeff Flake.

    More >

    Former presidential strategist Steve Bannon doubled down on his criticism of the GOP establishment at a Tuesday night fundraiser for a challenger to Arizona's incumbent Sen. Jeff Flake.

    More >