In the aftermath of the failed Obamacare "skinny" repeal and replace vote that took place in the early morning of July 29, a few Republican Senators have been lauded as heroes for saving the health care system for the moment. In the last week, Americans have expressed their gratitude to Senators John McCain, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins for their "no" votes on the bill. And according to the POLITICO Playbook on Thursday, while out to eat in D.C. this week, Collins got a round of applause from fellow diners.
According to the Playbook, Collins went to D.C. Italian restaurant Tosca on Wednesday with some friends and fellow diners began coming up to her to show their support for her vote. Per the Playbook entry from a tipster: "People approached her — shyly — to thank her for her courage. Everything stopped in the restaurant as she exited. Then people burst into applause.”
This isn't the first time Collins has received thanks for her vote. Following the late-night vote, Collins received a round of applause at the airport upon touching down at home in Bangor, Maine. She recalled to CNN, “It really was so extraordinary, heartwarming and affirming. I got off the plane and there was a large group of outbound passengers, none of whom I happen to know, and spontaneously some of them started applauding and then virtually all of them started to applaud."
The deciding vote came down to McCain over whether the bill would be killed or a tiebreaker vote would be necessary from Vice President Mike Pence. In the end, McCain decided that the bill was not worth passing, and voted no, which catapulted him into a position as someone who had "saved" Obamacare.
However, others have been calling Collins and Murkowski the real heroes for their largely unwavering positioning that the bills put forward by the Senate to repeal and replace Obamacare will not actually help Americans. McCain, meanwhile voted earlier last week to keep the Senate's effort to repeal and replace alive, then gave a speech about how he wouldn't vote for the bill in its current form and called on Republicans and Democrats to come together in order to pass health care legislation.
Unlike the Americans who have shown their gratitude, some Republicans were not happy about Collins and Murkowski's role in killing the bill. Rep. Blake Farenthold challenged "female Senators from the northeast" to a duel, or would have, if they were men from Texas, his own state, for their efforts to save Obamacare.
It might be a polarizing topic, but many Americans clearly feel thankful to Collins for her role in the health care vote.