In a statement, Speaker Paul Ryan pointedly said "the House delivered a bill" and said he was "disappointed and frustrated".
McCain, Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., announced earlier in the evening that they would not support a "skinny repeal" bill unless they had a guarantee the House will actually start negotiations and not simply pass the Senate bill and send it to President Trump. Senate Democrats said they would be willing -- if Republicans dropped the repeal bid.
Iowa's Steve King says in a statement that the Affordable Care Act is a "law that ought not exist, and I will continue to advocate for its complete repeal". After months of negotiations, GOP lawmakers were unable to come to a consensus on key provisions, including how to handle cuts to Medicaid in expansion states and whether they should defund Planned Parenthood.
But House leaders have also passed a "martial law" rule that would allow them to bring a bill to the floor in the coming days if necessary.
The 80-year-old Arizona senator made a dramatic return to the Capitol on Tuesday after being diagnosed with brain cancer, when he cast a decisive procedural vote that for a time advanced the legislation.
The bill repeals a tax on medical-device makers for three years. Three Republican senators - McCain as well as Sens.
As for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, last night's defeat is probably as low of a moment as we can remember for him.
By contrast, if the Senate rejects the "skinny repeal" gambit this week, the bipartisan process that McCain and various governors and members of Congress of both parties are advocating could finally commence.
Was Skinny Repeal good policy? There is nothing skinny about it, because the measure would leave 16 million more people without insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
The slumping Republican push to revamp the Affordable Care Act has raised the practical prospect that changes to the law only can be accomplished with bipartisan agreement.
Several Republicans pleaded for their colleagues not to give up, even as US President Donald Trump blasted the vote, saying at 2:25am on Twitter: "3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down". Because every repeal-and-replace bill has included these features, they won't suddenly vanish in the closed-door GOP bill-drafting sessions that will ensue if the Senate approves "skinny repeal" this week.
The House passed legislation repealing and replacing "Obamacare" in May.
On Friday morning the White House-led attempt to proceed on the watered-down version of the Obamacare repeal bill was defeated 49-51, with Senator McCain casting the deciding vote. And the conference process that Senator McConnell now would use would only strengthen his hand. It was among the main reasons the more comprehensive repeal bill died in the Senate.