July 17, 2017 8:36 am -

Yesterday, The New York Times reported:

The condition for which Senator John McCain had surgery on Friday may be more serious than initial descriptions have implied, and it may delay his return to Washington by at least a week or two, medical experts said on Sunday.

The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has already announced that votes on a bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act will not begin until Mr. McCain’s return.

The statement from Mr. McCain’s office said a two-inch blood clot was removed from “above his left eye” during a “minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision” at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, “following a routine annual physical.” Surgeons there are not conducting interviews. Mr. McCain’s communications director, Julie Tarallo, said further information would be made public when it became available.

A craniotomy is an opening of the skull, and an eyebrow incision would be used to reach a clot in or near the left frontal lobes of the brain, neurosurgeons who were not involved in Mr. McCain’s care said.

Political insider and blogger extraordinaire Martin Longman has this to say about the matter:

I’m not a doctor, but I’d be surprised if John McCain’s recent confused public behavior wasn’t in some way related to the five centimeter blood clot that was found above his left eye. At a minimum, I suspect the clot was discovered because McCain wisely sought expert medical opinion on why he was acting so strangely. With any luck, the procedure that removed the clot will also solve the problem he’s been having with lucidity.

Based on the speculation I’ve seen from doctors (who aren’t treating McCain), it might be a little longer than a week before he’s able to return to work in the Senate.

Nevertheless, Longman believes McCain will return to the Senate – and attempt to water down onerous Trumpcare:

Assuming for the sake of argument that McCain votes to let the bill come to the floor and that it does in fact come to the floor, it’s likely that McCain can pass amendments to address these concerns if the Democrats are willing to support him. Depending on details, the passage of these amendments could help the bill pass or derail the entire effort. Likewise, a failure to pass these amendments could cause a loss of support for the bill from McCain and some of the nineteen other Republican senators from Medicaid expansion states. Or, it could be that they’ll be contented to have the vote even if it doesn’t pass.

A week ago, McCain all but declared the health care bill effort dead. And he’s prepared to take a completely different approach.

In sum, McCain’s condition was worse than reported, but Trumpcare is still on life support.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.