Thursday, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said she was still a “no” vote on the Republican Senate health care bill because she was “very disappointed” with the changes made in the latest draft released by Republican leaders.
Collins said, “If the provisions that completely overhaul the Medicaid program were dropped from the bill, that would be a great step in the right direction. After all, when the Affordable Care Act was passed, the only change that it made in the Medicaid program was to allow states to expand eligibility with increased federal assistance if they chose to do so. So from my perspective, it does not make sense to do a major rewrite of a vital entitlement program without having any hearings or consideration of the implications. So that’s something that is a major reason that I find myself unable to support the bill.”
When asked if she will support a motion to proceed vote, Collins said, “I would not at this point unless there are substantial changes in the bill. This is not like a nomination where I have always voted for the motion to proceed and to believe that nominees should be given the benefit of the doubt by the Senate. This is a major piece of legislation that has been written without the benefit of hearings and taken to the Senate floor without going through the normal process.”
She continued, “President Obama, in my view, made a major mistake when he passed the Affordable Care Act without a single Republican vote. I don’t want to see us make the same mistake by passing a major rewrite of the Affordable Care Act without a single Democratic vote. I believe it would be much better if we went through the committee process and produced what I would hope would be a bipartisan bill, or at least try to produce a bipartisan bill, to fix the many flaws that do exist in Obamacare.”
She added, “I’m very disappointed because I’ve been very vocal about my concerns.”
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