Unless Obamacare is repealed, which is has not been, the terms of the law are still in place.
Less than two weeks after surgery to remove a blood clot revealed McCain had brain cancer, the Arizona Republican - still with a visible scar above his eye - traveled 2,000 miles from Phoenix and returned to a hero's welcome Tuesday in the Senate, where he delivered an epic 15-minute speech that rattled the conscience of the body.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the bill would would have left 16 million more people uninsured over the next decade and increased insurance premiums by an average of 20% annually over the next decade.
"We thank Senators Collins, McCain, and Murkowski, as well as Senate Democrats and Independents, who heard the voices of all those who called, emailed, rallied and wrote to object to this seriously flawed bill", said AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond in a statement.
The eight-page bill would extend a moratorium on a medical device tax and boost a provision in the ACA known as Section 1332 that allows states to get waivers from the health care law's mandates, including its essential health benefits.
McCain had not stated before the vote which way he would go in Friday's vote.
"There were deep, deep fault lines in what our Republican colleagues tried to do", he said. And he said, we have some tough questions to ask ourselves.
No Democrats voted for the GOP bill.
The president has demanded at various times that Obamacare should be allowed to collapse on its own, that it should be repealed without replacement, and that it should be repealed and replaced. "We're going to get it".
Their statements deal a blow to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's effort to pass legislation.
"The political pressure on something like this is real", said GOP strategist Mike Shields.
It's a legislative maneuver so the Senate can pass a bill that a House-Senate conference committee can use as the base to try to work out a comprehensive "repeal and replace" measure.
Both Blumenthal and Murphy said they are ready to work with Republicans on improvements to the ACA.
Democrats were pleased. Some Republicans - including, seemingly, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) - were shocked. "I don't think we knew until he did it", Sen.
Ryan said the Senate must vote first on whatever compromise is reached by House and Senate negotiators.
The "skinny repeal" bill - erasing several parts of President Barack Obama's law - was rejected just before 2 a.m. EST on a vote of 51-49. But they've said one leading idea is to eliminate tax penalties on people not buying coverage, effectively ending that requirement. "If that's what's deemed the only thing that can pass, of course I would vote for it".
Over on the House side, Republicans made the same point, detailing specific ways they may attempt to keep the dream alive. Steve Daines that would create a "single-payer" government-run health care system, a favorite of progressive senators such as Vermont's Bernie Sanders, failed Thursday afternoon on a 57-0 vote, with 43 Democrats voting "present".
Votes on the measure were expected deep into the night.
Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat from DE, had a feeling even earlier in the day that McCain may be on his side this time.
Once Congress returns in early September, it sounds like the health care talks will resume, and Mark Meadows says that President Trump isn't abandoning his promise.
Added Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.: "We are not celebrating".