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McCain: Dems' Health Care Plan "Hopefully Is Dead"

Sen. John McCain said the health care reform plan Democrats have been trying to push through Congress "hopefully is dead," following the election of Republican Scott Brown as Massachusetts senator.

"We are more than happy to sit down and start over. Not scale back, but start over in a true negotiating process rather than the Democrats going back to try to pick off one or two Republicans," the Arizona Republican said on CBS' "The Early Show" Thursday.

McCain said Democrats' efforts on health care reform were a "major miscalculation, not only the way they went about trying to get this legislation passed on a strictly partisan basis, but also neglecting what the majority of Americans' concern [are], that is jobs and the economy.

Brown beat out Democrat Martha Coakley in a special election Tuesday to fill the seat of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. His victory gives Republicans 41 Senate seats, breaking the Democratic super-majority.

McCain said that while voter disenchantment worked in Mr. Obama's favor when he won the presidency in 2008, Brown's surprise victory could be chalked up to similar sentiments.

"I think the dissatisfaction and anger is focused on the process and the lack of change that would bring the American people into a more transparent process. And instead, it's the old time Chicago-style sausage making, which is very unsavory."

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And though Brown's win came largely on the backs of independent voters, McCain said Republicans still have work to do to cement their support.

"I think we were punished in 2008 because we Republicans allowed spending to go get completely out of control and we betrayed independents and part of our base. So, yes, independents have not come over to Republicans yet. Independents are still out there and they're going to make a decision issue by issue, election by election.

More Coverage:

Obama: Congress Shouldn't "Jam" Health Care Through
A Signal for Dems to Tack Left or Right?
Scott Brown: Win Sends "Powerful Message"
White House Downplays Scott Brown Victory
Washington Unplugged: Brown's Win Spells Trouble For Dems

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