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Expert is 'pretty dubious' about a bipartisan solution to health care

  • A bipartisan solution to health-care reform likely isn't a viable option, health-care policy expert Spencer Perlman told CNBC on Friday.
  • He said there's just so much bad blood between Republicans and Democrats now.
  • The latest GOP Obamacare repeal plan took a hit on Friday after Sen. John McCain said he "cannot in good conscience vote" for it.

A bipartisan solution to health-care reform likely isn't a viable option, policy expert Spencer Perlman told CNBC on Friday.

The latest GOP Obamacare repeal plan took a hit on Friday after Sen. John McCain said he "cannot in good conscience vote" for it. He said he believes Republicans and Democrats can do better working together.

"At this point I'm pretty dubious," Perlman, director of health-care research at Veda Partners, said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

"There's just so much bad blood. This is an issue that has really just divided the parties for so long. Republicans, their entire brand is predicated at this point on the slogan of repeal and replace," he said.

McCain's opposition dealt a significant blow to the proposal, known as the Graham-Cassidy bill. He was one of four Republican senators who had been undecided.

McCain said he cannot vote for the bill without knowing how it will affect premiums, how much it will cost, and how many people it would help or hurt.

Perlman said he was surprised by McCain's decision, given how the senator is best friends with one of the bill's authors, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC. Plus, the Arizona governor and Arizona's Republican junior senator, Jeff Flake, came out in support of the legislation, he noted.

"It's pretty obvious he recognizes he probably will not have to face voters again and he's going with what he thinks is best for him and his constituents," he said.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R- Tenn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, had been working to reach a bipartisan agreement to stabilize Obamacare insurance markets.

Earlier this week, Alexander said in a statement that the two "have worked hard and in good faith, but have not found the necessary consensus among Republicans and Democrats to put a bill in the Senate leaders' hands that could be enacted."

—CNBC's Christina Wilkie and Reuters contributed to this report.