Collins criticizes Trump health care moves

GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate Gang of Four to meet next week on immigration Republicans agree — it’s only a matter of time for Scott Pruitt Skyrocketing insulin prices provoke new outrage MORE (R-Maine) voiced opposition Friday to President Trump’s decision to withdraw a key subsidy to insurers meant to help people afford health insurance under ObamaCare.

Collins, who earlier on Friday announced she was staying in the Senate and would not seek her state’s governorship, said the payments were important in helping the poor get health insurance. The White House says the payments are a bailout of the insurance companies and an abuse of executive power launched by the previous administration.

She also expressed concern about a separate executive order issued by Trump that the White House says will lower premiums by allowing insurers to offer cheaper plans. Critics, including some insurers, argue the changes could raise costs on plans for sicker people.

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“I will say that I am very concerned about the president's executive order that was issued yesterday and his decision to do away with an important subsidy that helps very low income people,” Collins said during a local Chamber of Commerce event in Maine. 

Collins, who didn’t support the Affordable Care Act, voted against a slimmed-down GOP ObamaCare repeal bill and has been critical in general of GOP efforts to repeal and replace the health care law. 

She took multiple swipes at the Senate's legislation on Friday, noting her party “repeated the same mistakes” Democrats made when they passed ObamaCare. 

“The Senate Republican health care bills were drafted behind close doors. By the way, it was a group of 13 men who did it,” Collins said. “It completely bypassed the standard legislative process.”

Collins joined with GOP Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiHeitkamp ad highlights record as Senate race heats up Icebreaking ships are not America’s top priority in the Arctic 13 GOP senators ask administration to pause separation of immigrant families MORE (Alaska) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainDon’t disrespect McCain by torpedoing his clean National Defense Authorization Act Meghan McCain rips Trump's 'gross' line about her dad Trump's America fights back MORE (Ariz.) to block a “skinny” repeal of ObamaCare. 

Collins, McCain and GOP Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP senators call for probe of federal grants on climate change Overnight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Key ObamaCare groups in limbo | Opioids sending thousands of kids into foster care | House passes bill allowing Medicaid to pay for opioid treatments US watchdog: 'We failed' to stem Afghan opium production MORE (R-Ky.) also teamed up against legislation from GOP Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate panel advances three spending bills Trump says he will sign executive order to end family separations Trump backs narrow bill halting family separations: official MORE (S.C.) and Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyOn The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump floats tariffs on European cars | Nikki Haley slams UN report on US poverty | Will tax law help GOP? It's a mystery Overnight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — House passes opioid bill | Planned Parenthood sues over teen pregnancy program | Azar to face Senate next week On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Supreme Court allows states to collect sales taxes from online retailers | Judge finds consumer bureau structure unconstitutional | Banks clear Fed stress tests MORE (La.) that would have turned ObamaCare's exchanges and Medicaid expansion into block grants for the states.

She said on Friday that the Graham-Cassidy legislation “was a very bad bill” for her home state. 

“If senators can adjust a funding formula over a weekend to help a single state they could just as easily adjust that formula in the future to hurt that state,” she said. 

Collins also outlined what she believes Congress should do on health care, including controlling costs, addressing the “spiraling cost of prescription drugs,” increasing transparency and stabilizing the insurance market. 

Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderOn The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Supreme Court allows states to collect sales taxes from online retailers | Judge finds consumer bureau structure unconstitutional | Banks clear Fed stress tests Supreme Court rules states can require online sellers to collect sales tax 13 GOP senators ask administration to pause separation of immigrant families MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges —Dems, health groups demand immigrant children be quickly reunited with families White House releases sweeping proposal to reorganize government Democrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor MORE (D-Wash.) are trying to reach a deal on legislation to provide the payments to insurers in return for more flexibility on state waivers and the ability to buy so-called “copper plans” that include less coverage but are cheaper.