Senate

Collins skeptical of new ObamaCare repeal effort

Greg Nash

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is voicing concern about the latest GOP ObamaCare repeal effort, which could potentially be moving forward without a full Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis. 

“That’s problematic. … That’s part of the problem with short circuiting the process,” Collins, one of three Republicans who voted against the Senate’s last repeal push, told reporters Monday when asked about CBO’s estimate that it wouldn’t know the impact on insurance coverage of a bill from GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (La.) for weeks.

The CBO announced Monday that it would be able to release an initial analysis on the Graham-Cassidy ObamaCare repeal bill next week. But it wouldn’t be able to provide “point estimates of the effects on the deficit, health insurance coverage, or premiums for at least several weeks.”

{mosads}

When told the CBO scored wouldn’t include a projection of those insured, Collins laughed before saying “well it will be interesting to see what they do have.”

Republicans are mulling taking another run at repealing ObamaCare next week if the new legislation can get enough support.

But they face a narrow path to passing a bill ahead of a looming Sept. 30 deadline. With 52 GOP senators, they need to win over at least 50 to let Vice President Pence break a tie. 

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has said he is opposed to Graham-Cassidy. Meanwhile GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and John McCain (Ariz.) said on Monday they are undecided.

Collins, along with Murkowski and McCain, voted against the GOP “skinny” repeal effort in July. 

She also outlined broad concerns she has on the current Graham-Cassidy legislation. 

“I’m concerned about what the effect would be on coverage, on Medicaid spending in my state. On the fundamental changes in Medicaid that would be made without the Senate holding a single hearing … and also what the effect would be on premiums,” she said. 

Tags Bill Cassidy John McCain Lindsey Graham Lisa Murkowski Rand Paul Susan Collins

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