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Let’s see if we can count to three, because that’s how many Republican senators it will take to kill the Graham-Cassidy plan to destroy the Affordable Care Act and deny 30 million Americans their access to health care. All these articles were published within the last few hours:

One (Game):

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced on Friday that he will vote against the latest GOP effort to repeal ObamaCare, potentially dooming the legislation.

“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried,” he said in a statement, referring to the legislation spearheaded by GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C) and Bill Cassidy (La.).

Two (Set):

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said on Friday she has serious concerns about the latest GOP bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare as Republicans prepare to vote on the legislation next week.

“I’m leaning against the bill,” Collins told the Portland Press-Herald. “I’m just trying to do what I believe is the right thing for the people of Maine.”

…“The premiums would be so high they would be unaffordable,” she said, referring to the cost for individuals with pre-existing health conditions.

Three (Match):

Rand Paul, a definitive “no” on Senate Republicans’ last-ditch effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, “won’t be bribed or bullied” into supporting the bill, the Kentucky Republican said Friday.

“Calling a bill that KEEPS most of Obamacare ‘repeal’ doesn’t make it true. That’s what the swamp does,” Paul tweeted. “I won’t be bribed or bullied.”

Paul’s tweets came after President Donald Trump singled him out in seeking to pressure GOP lawmakers via Twitter on Friday morning to back the bill.

I guess we don’t need to worry about whether or not Lisa Murkowski of Alaska can be successfully bribed. Although, I wonder how she’s feeling about the constant threats.

I’m not sure why McCain decided to weigh-in today. He got so much mileage out of leaving everyone in doubt until the last minute back in August, the last time it seemed like the Senate Republicans might actually might pass a bill. I thought for sure that he’d milk this unexpected second opportunity for all it is worth, too.

Of the three, Collins is actually the least definitive in her opposition. I guess maybe they should focus on her now, although it’s looking pretty hopeless at this point.

If nothing changes over the weekend, it will be interesting to see if any other Republicans publicly declare their opposition. It might be best to give McConnell an excuse not to hold the vote at all, since I don’t see the upside of putting this all on the record.

I still don’t trust Rand Paul, but he seems very dug in at this point. It’s really the obvious level of desperation on the Republicans’ part to pass something that got me concerned for the first time about someone actually going through in both houses of Congress. I never have seen where the votes in the Senate would come from, though. I worried most about McCain and Paul. Their statements today are encouraging, and maybe we can finally rest easy sometime soon.

In the meantime, you should still tell your representatives how you feel because if you don’t, how will they know?

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Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at