Collins: Trump’s Threat Would Not Affect My Vote Against GOP O’Care Repeal 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

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) on Sunday said President Donald Trump’s threat to end health care subsidies that affect both the poorest Americans and Congress would not have changed her vote against Senate Republicans’ bill to repeal Obamacare.

“It would not affect my vote on health care,” Collins said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Trump on Saturday threatened to do away with cost sharing reduction payments “if a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly.” Those Obamacare subsidies allow insurers to offset health-care costs for low-income Americans.

He also threatened to end “BAILOUTS for Members of Congress.”

Collins said that the subsidies “are not an insurance company bailout but rather help people who are very low-income afford their out-of-pocket costs toward their deductibles and their copays.”

“That’s what we need to remember,” she said. “So it really would be detrimental to some of the most vulnerable citizens if those payments were cut off.”

Collins also remarked on her warm reception when she arrived back home in Maine after the nail-biter Senate vote early Friday morning that scuttled Republicans’ latest attempt to repeal Obamacare.

“I got off the plane and there was a large group of outbound passengers, none of whom I happened to know, and spontaneously some of them started applauding, and then virtually all of them started to applaud,” she said.

Collins said “it was just amazing.”

“I’ve never had that happen in the 20 years that I’ve been privileged to serve in the Senate, so it was very encouraging and affirming, especially arriving back home after a very difficult time,” she said. “It really was so extraordinary, heartwarming and affirming.”

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