Throughout U.S. Senate deliberations over a proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act, Sen. John McCain repeatedly invoked the name of Gov. Doug Ducey, saying he wanted to ensure any new law didn’t punish their home state of Arizona.

“My position on this proposal will be largely guided by Governor Ducey’s analysis of how it would impact the people of our state,” McCain, R-Ariz., said Thursday during a news conference hours before the late night vote in which he would give a thumbs down to the Senate GOP’s so-called “skinny repeal” bill.

“My friends, this is legislation that directly affects the people of my state,” he continued. “I trust my governor. I trust his people and he is looking carefully at this.”

But despite eventually getting the go-ahead from Ducey, McCain, who turns 81 on Aug. 29 and starts treatment Monday for brain cancer, voted against the “skinny” legislation, killing it and stopping the current Republican push to undo the Affordable Care Act. 

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Three Republicans senators,John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, held a press conference Thursday saying they cannot vote for the GOP health care bill in its current form. (July 27)
AP

The day before, McCain had filed three amendments drafted in consultation with Ducey, who like McCain has long emphasized the need to get rid of the Affordable Care Act — which critics refer to as “Obamacare”. Those amendments aimed to shield the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state’s Medicaid program, from any financial hit from the Republican-backed repeal proposal.

However, the amendments became moot after GOP leaders settled on the “skinny repeal” bill. The measure didn’t change Medicaid funding, which was at the heart of what had troubled Ducey and AHCCCS officials. It would instead have left the Affordable Care Act largely in place, ending only its individual and employer mandates and repealing, for…