Dems Ready to Slap McCain on Medicare Bill

GOP senator absent with 1 vote needed to save doctor payments
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2008 12:37 PM CDT
Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks to participants in a round table discussion at Miami Children's Hospital.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
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(Newser) – Democrats are preparing to attack John McCain for hurting doctors, the elderly, and veterans—all by not showing up, The Hill reports. Medicare legislation to stave off a 10.6% cut in physician payments is one vote short in the Senate, and the presumptive GOP nominee, repeatedly absent when it has come to the floor, will be MIA again today. Any of 39 Republicans standing against the measure could help McCain dodge a bullet by switching sides.

Said the director of the American College of Surgeons, “He’s ducking the vote, and we don’t know why.” It’s a thorny call for Mac, who would anger insurance companies—which would help pay the Medicare doctors' wages—by supporting the bill and be attacked for hurting elderly and veteran health access by voting against it.