“We cannot recall a similar effort by so many to subject their own party to such an abject public humiliation.” That’s the conservative point-of-view from The Wall Street Journal. By The Editorial Board, July 28, 2017. It’s a good read.

The party had a historic chance to act in the public interest. It failed.

After promising Americans for seven years that it would fix the Affordable Care Act, the Republican Party failed. This is a historic debacle that will echo politically for years.

A divided GOP Senate could not muster a majority even for a simple bill repealing the individual and employer mandates they had long opposed. Nor were they able to repeal the medical-device tax that some 70 Senators had gone on record wanting to repeal in previous Congresses.

The so-called skinny bill that failed in the Senate would have gone to a conference with the House, which had signaled its willingness to work out a compromise. That arduous process is the way the American legislative system works. A strong majority of the GOP caucuses on both chambers supported the effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare, but that was undone by an intransigent and petulant minority.

Where to begin in comprehending John McCain’s last-minute defection? Early Friday morning Senator McCain turned his thumb down on the bill, which doomed this long effort. Explaining that vote, Mr. McCain said the bill “offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health care to our citizens.” This is hard to credit, because his “no” has left the American people with ObamaCare in toto.

On Thursday, with three other Senators, Mr. McCain said he wanted assurances that House Speaker Paul Ryan would negotiate in conference. Mr. Ryan said he would, and the other three voted yes. Senator McCain nonetheless chose to cast the decisive vote that broke the GOP promise.

The Arizona Senator’s politics has always been more personal than ideological. His baffling, 11th-hour vote makes us recall Donald Trump’s infamous campaign slight about Mr. McCain’s war imprisonment. Whatever his motives, the greater shame is that his vote keeps the edifice of ObamaCare in place with all of its harm to patients, the health-care system and the national fisc.   . . .

Republicans will now try to salvage what is left of this Congress with tax reform. But the tragedy remains: Republicans in their selfish political and personal interests squandered a once in a generation chance to show that their principles can make life better for Americans.

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