Susan Collins Confirms She Will Vote To Block GOP Health Care Bill

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee, finishes a television news interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
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Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) confirmed Monday night that she will vote against her own party’s motion to proceed on a bill that would repeal much of the Affordable Care Act, cut hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicaid, and trigger insurance coverage loss for 22 million people over the next 10 years.

Speaking to reporters earlier on Monday night, Collins was non-committal on her vote, saying only that the Congressional Budget Office analysis of the bill released earlier Monday was “obviously not positive.”

In subsequent tweets, she noted that “1 in 5 Mainers are on Medicaid” and would be severely impacted by the deep cuts in the bill. “Medicaid cuts hurt most vulnerable Americans; access to healthcare in rural areas threatened,” she wrote.

Collins’ announcement comes on the heels of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) announcing that he will also vote no on the motion to proceed. Unlike Collins, who feels the bill goes too far in gutting Medicaid spending and rolling back protections for the sick and elderly, Paul slammed the legislation for not going far enough.

Several other GOP lawmakers critical of the bill have also suggested they may oppose the motion to proceed, which would stop the effort in its tracks. These “maybes” include Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), whose concerns range from the bill’s rushed and secretive process to its impact on their constituents.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alice Ollstein is a reporter at Talking Points Memo, covering national politics. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 and has been reporting in DC ever since, covering the Supreme Court, Congress and national elections for TV, radio, print, and online outlets. Her work has aired on Free Speech Radio News, All Things Considered, Channel News Asia, and Telesur, and her writing has been published by The Atlantic, La Opinión, and The Hill Rag. She was elected in 2016 as an at-large board member of the DC Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Alice grew up in Santa Monica, California and began working for local newspapers in her early teens.
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