GOP Senator Says O’Care Repeal ‘Would Make Sweeping’ Cuts To Medicaid

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, speaks amid a crush of reporters after Republicans released their long-awaited bill to scuttle much of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 22, 2017. She is one of four GOP senators to say they are opposed to it as written which could put the measure in immediate jeopardy.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) on Sunday said Senate Republicans’ bill to repeal Obamacare would make “sweeping and deep cuts” to Medicaid and endanger rural hospitals without “a single hearing” in the Senate to evaluate the proposal’s effects.

“This bill would make sweeping and deep cuts to the Medicaid program, which has been a safety net program on the books for more than 50 years, ensuring that some of our most vulnerable citizens, our disabled children, our low-income seniors, receive the health care that they need,” Collins said on ABC News’ “This Week.”

“It would also jeopardize the very existence of our rural hospitals and our nursing homes, which not only provide essential care to people in rural America, but also are major employers in the small communities in which they are located,” she added. “And worst of all, these changes would be made without the Senate having held a single hearing to evaluate their impact.”

“But the vote’s been delayed. Did McConnell have the votes to get it passed?” ABC’s Jon Karl asked, referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) decision to postpone a vote on the bill.

“I don’t know. I think it would be extremely close. There are many of us who have concerns about the bill,” Collins, who announced she will not vote for the proposal, replied. “On the Senate side, I would estimate that there about eight to ten Republicans senators who have deep concerns.”

“So you heard Vice President Pence say that this bill provides for the most vulnerable, improves Medicaid, and will lead to better outcome. Is he right?” Karl asked.

“I would tactfully disagree with the vice president,” Collins said.