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Defeated GOP congressman blames McCain for House flipping

A Republican unseated in the midterm elections last week has come out with an op-ed blaming the late Arizona...

Posted: Nov. 13, 2018 9:19 AM
Updated: Nov. 13, 2018 9:19 AM

A Republican unseated in the midterm elections last week has come out with an op-ed blaming the late Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain for the party losing control of the House.

In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, outgoing Minnesota GOP Rep. Jason Lewis pinned the wave of Democratic victories last week on McCain's vote in July 2017 to sink a GOP attempt to repeal Obamacare.

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"MCain's last-minute decision prompted a 'green wave' of liberal special-interest money, which was used to propagate false claims that the House plan 'gutted coverage for people with pre-existing conditions,'" Lewis wrote.

McCain, along with Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, crossed party lines to defeat the GOP's so-called "skinny repeal" of Obamacare. The bill would have allowed states to waive key provisions in the landmark health care law, such as the requirements that insurers provide comprehensive coverage and put limits on consumers' out-of-pocket spending. This would have likely raised costs for people with pre-existing conditions.

Health care was one of the most talked about issues in the midterm elections, and Obamacare's protections for those with pre-existing conditions became a major point of focus. Despite the provisions of the White House-supported repeal effort and the Justice Department's own legal filings to the contrary, President Donald Trump tweeted in late October that "Republicans will totally protect people with Pre-Existing Conditions."

McCain died earlier this year and was a famed veteran of the Vietnam War. Lewis' op-ed was published on Veterans' Day.

Meghan McCain, daughter of the late senator, responded to the piece on Twitter, writing, "This is abhorrent."

Lewis, in his op-ed, maintained that under Obamacare "all policyholders are charged as if they are sick." The House GOP repeal bill contained provisions that "were an attempt to alleviate the pre-existing condition problem, not exacerbate it," and that without the bill being passed, Republicans couldn't campaign on it.

Lewis hails from Minnesota's second district and was defeated by Democrat Angie Craig. The race attracted some national attention after a CNN review of audio from a radio program Lewis hosted found that the congressman had a history of misogynistic comments, including complaining people could not call women "sluts."

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