Cot­ton still un­sure on health bill ef­fort

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL - FRANK E. LOCK­WOOD

WASH­ING­TON — U.S. Sen. Tom Cot­ton doesn’t know whether Repub­li­cans will be able to reach an agree­ment on health care be­fore they leave for the Au­gust re­cess, he said in an in­ter­view late last week.

“I hope we will. We still have a few hold­out Repub­li­can sen­a­tors, though,” he said Thurs­day. “I wouldn’t have guessed that so many Repub­li­cans who cam­paigned on re­peal­ing and re­plac­ing Oba­macare would find it so hard to do, but I’m still ea­ger to do it be­cause I know that Oba­macare is hurt­ing a lot of Arkansans.”

Asked what will hap­pen if Repub­li­cans re­nege on their prom­ise to re­peal and re­place the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act, Cot­ton said: “I’m not wor­ried about the po­lit­i­cal con­se­quences here. I’m wor­ried about the con­se­quences for Arkansans who are suf­fer­ing from the pain in­flicted by Oba­macare, from higher pre­mi­ums and los­ing their in­sur­ance cov­er­age or not be­ing able to see their nor­mal doc­tor. That’s where my fo­cus has been and that’s where my fo­cus is go­ing to re­main till we get it right.”

The ab­sence of Sen. John McCain adds to the un­cer­tainty; the Ari­zona Repub­li­can re­vealed last week that he’s bat­tling brain cancer.

Cot­ton, a Dar­danelle Repub­li­can who serves on the Se­nate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee with McCain, said he’s hop­ing his friend and col­league re­cov­ers.

“Glioblas­toma is a se­ri­ous kind of brain cancer, but I know if there’s any per­son who can beat brain cancer it’s John McCain be­cause he’s beaten the odds all his life,” Cot­ton said.

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