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Collins criticizes Trump health care moves

GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMurkowski votes with Senate panel to advance Haaland nomination OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior reverses Trump policy that it says restricted science | Collins to back Haaland's Interior nomination | Republicans press Biden environment nominee on Obama-era policy Republicans, please save your party 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 MurkowskiHillicon Valley: YouTube to restore Trump's account | House-passed election bill takes aim at foreign interference | Senators introduce legislation to create international tech partnerships Senate votes to take up COVID-19 relief bill The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Increased security on Capitol Hill amid QAnon's March 4 date MORE (Alaska) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainFormer Trump Defense chief Esper to join McCain Institute We need an independent 1/6 commission that the whole country can have confidence in GOP targets Manchin, Sinema, Kelly on Becerra MORE (Ariz.) to block a “skinny” repeal of ObamaCare. 

Collins, McCain and GOP Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulHouse approves George Floyd Justice in Policing Act Bipartisan group of senators introduces bill to rein in Biden's war powers House sets vote for George Floyd police reform bill MORE (R-Ky.) also teamed up against legislation from GOP Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamRon Johnson grinds Senate to halt, irritating many Here's who Biden is now considering for budget chief House Democratic leaders back Shalanda Young for OMB after Tanden withdrawal MORE (S.C.) and Bill CassidyBill CassidyTrump was unhinged and unchanged at CPAC Republicans, please save your party Senate panel splits along party lines on Becerra 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 AlexanderLamar AlexanderCongress addressed surprise medical bills, but the issue is not resolved Trump renominates Judy Shelton in last-ditch bid to reshape Fed Senate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayBiden convenes bipartisan meeting on cancer research Pro-Choice Caucus asks Biden to remove abortion fund restrictions from 2022 budget Senate Democrats offer fresh support for embattled Tanden 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.