GOP Rep. Unaware O’Care Repeal Bill Nixes Health Care Program In His State

UNITED STATES - APRIL 26: Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol on April 26, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Tom Williams/CQPHO

After admitting to CNN that he did not read the House bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) told the Buffalo News that he was unaware the bill would nix funding for a health care program in New York.

When a reporter for the Buffalo News told Collins that the American Health Care Act would eliminate funding for an optional program adopted only by New York and Minnesota called the Essential Plan, Collins replied, “Explain that to me.”

Asked again if he was aware of that funding cut, Collins told the Buffalo News, “No. But it doesn’t surprise me for you to tell me that there were two states in the nation that were taking advantage of some other waiver program and New York was one of the two states.”

The AHCA would nix the Essential Plan option, which provides New York with $3 billion annually for a program that offers benefits for low-income residents who do not qualify for Medicaid.

Collins’ comments on the Essential Plan came after he admitted to CNN that he had not read the bill.

“I will fully admit, Wolf, I did not but I can also assure you my staff did,” Collins told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer when asked if he read the full bill. “We have to rely on our staff.”

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