Collins 'surprised' and 'appalled' by Trump health care move

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Collins offering bill to boost battery research as GOP pushes energy 'innovation' Biden says Congress must move to protect abortion rights MORE (R-Maine) said she’s “surprised” and “appalled” by the Trump administration’s decision to argue in court that the Affordable Care Act should be thrown out, according to Axios.

Collins told Axios she intended to write to Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign Justin Amash confirms collusion witch hunt was all about politics MORE about the Department of Justice’s decision.

“I’m appalled," she told Axios. “I think the Justice Department has a duty to defend the duly enacted laws … I was surprised and disappointed. If the president disagrees with a law, then he should ask Congress to repeal or change that law. He should not try to get rid of it through the courts.” 

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“This is something I vehemently disagree with, and I hope that the courts do not go along with what the Justice Department has requested,” Collins told News Center Maine. “This is many times worse because now the Justice Department is trying to strike down the entire law, rather than trying to invalidate just provisions that the Department views as unconstitutional.”

Collins, who is up for reelection next year, has already been a target of health care advocacy groups after voting to confirm Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughGraham urges Trump not to abandon infrastructure talks with Democrats 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests Maker of 'F*ck Trump' lipstick vows to donate proceeds to reproductive rights groups MORE to the Supreme Court last year. Collins argued in justifying her vote that Kavanaugh would be unlikely to vote to terminate protections for pre-existing conditions.

"In a dissent in Seven-Sky v. Holder, Judge Kavanaugh rejected a challenge to the ACA on narrow procedural grounds, preserving the law in full,” Collins said in a floor speech announcing she would support his confirmation. “Many experts have said his dissent informed [Chief] Justice [John] Roberts’s opinion upholding the ACA at the Supreme Court."