Collins: 'Disappointing' that bipartisan health-care effort was halted

Collins: 'Disappointing' that bipartisan health-care effort was halted
© Greg Nash

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids Study: ObamaCare bills backed by Collins would lower premiums Right scrambles GOP budget strategy MORE (R-Maine) said Wednesday that it was "disappointing" a bipartisan health-care effort was halted after the White House threw its support behind a measure pushed by Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration We are running out of time to protect Dreamers US trade deficit rises on record imports from China MORE (R-S.C.) and Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyTax bill could fuel push for Medicare, Social Security cuts Collins to vote for GOP tax plan Overnight Tech: Lawmakers want answers on Uber breach | Justices divided in patent case | Tech makes plea for net neutrality on Cyber Monday MORE (R-La.). 

In an interview with CNN, Collins said she had not yet decided whether she will vote for the Graham-Cassidy bill, which seeks to end federal ObamaCare insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansion and replace them with block grants to states.

Collins said she is waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to release a partial analysis of the Graham-Cassidy bill before she makes a decision on it.

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But she acknowledged that she preferred an effort by the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Health Committee to stabilize the individual insurance market and fix the problems with ObamaCare, rather than repeal it outright.

Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderOvernight Finance: Trump says shutdown 'could happen' | Ryan, conservatives inch closer to spending deal | Senate approves motion to go to tax conference | Ryan promises 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Senate approves motion to go to tax conference House conservatives, Ryan inch closer toward spending deal MORE (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Health Committee, said Tuesday that the efforts had come to a standstill after Democrats and Republicans were unable to reach a deal that could pass in the Senate.

"It's disappointing that this bipartisan effort — which should be our approach — was not allowed to proceed to conclusion," Collins said.

In addition to Collins, Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Week ahead: Trump expected to shrink two national monuments GOP on verge of opening Arctic refuge to drilling MORE (R-Alaska) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat Meghan McCain knocks Bannon: 'Who the hell are you' to criticize Romney? Dems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress MORE (R-Ariz.) are also said to remain undecided on the Graham-Cassidy bill. The three Republicans voted against a slimmed-down ObamaCare repeal bill in late July, throwing a wrench in the GOP's efforts to do away with the health-care law.

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulLexington mayor launches bid for Congress Trump-free Kennedy Center Honors avoids politics Meet the Iran hawk who could be Trump's next secretary of State MORE (R-Ky.) has already indicated he will not vote for the Graham-Cassidy bill, arguing that it does not go far enough to repeal ObamaCare