US President Donald Trump is struggling to gain support in his efforts to repeal his predecessor Barak Obama’s healthcare laws.
Part of his problem is not if his new healthcare package is good for voters but an influential senator who he insulted in the past has seen the chance for revenge.
John McCain is a leading Republican and former presidential candidate who had his Vietnam war record ridiculed by Trump – who has no military background himself.
Mc Cain is seen as the ring leader of a gang-of-three Republicans in the Senate who voted with Trump’s rival Democrat Party to defeat his Obamacare reform by 51 to 49 votes.
Before the vote, Trump’s right-hand man and vice-president Mike Pence was seen in animated conversation with McCain for 20 minutes. What was said is unknown, but undoubtedly, he was trying to persuade him to support the president.
But revenge was sweet for McCain, who snubbed the administration and was seen shaking hands with a welcoming group of Democrat senators moments after his conversation with Pence ended.
Trump said: “These three had let the American people down.”
The Republicans say the result is disappointing but McCain appears happy to knife Trump in the back for the way he mercilessly mocked his war record.
No one is sure what is next for the Obamacare repeal.
Trump made cutting the law one of his major policy priorities in his election campaign but the future of his plans is now uncertain after two failed efforts of repeal in Congress.
No future for Trump’s plans
His Health Care Freedom Act would have consigned the main elements of Obama’s health laws to history and removed insurance cover for 16 million poor Americans and a tax on medical devices.
McCain said he opposed Trump because the new law was meaningless and would have worsened healthcare for millions.
Republicans had already watered down the plans to the basics they believed would pass through Congress and doubt any further legislation would gain approval.
Trump now threatens to let Obamacare collapse before he proposes a new deal.