Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) gave the Senate health care bill released Thursday a mixed review, but zeroed in on its major cuts to Medicaid as a potential problem for her.
She took issue with how the Senate bill, starting in 2025, used a rate of growth for federal funding for Medicaid that is significantly slower than the typical increases of costs for the program.
“I’m very concerned about the inflator that would be used in the out years for the Medicaid program,” she told reporters in the Capitol a few hours after the bill was released. “It’s lower than the cost of medical inflation and would translate into literally billions of dollars of cuts.”
She added that she was concerned about how the cuts would negatively affect rural hospitals or prompt states to restrict Medicaid eligibility.
Collins also was critical of the Senate bill’s provision to defund Planned Parenthood, but previously she has hinted she could be OK with the legislation if she is allowed to vote on amendment to strip to defund measure.
Collins said she was going to spend more time reviewing the bill and communicating with stakeholders before deciding where she stands on it.