Collins criticizes Trump health care moves

GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsKavanaugh accuser set to testify Thursday McConnell told Trump criticism of Kavanaugh accuser isn't helpful: report Dems see Kavanaugh saga as playing to their advantage 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 MurkowskiKavanaugh accuser set to testify Thursday Kavanaugh accuser agrees to testify next week Murkowski says she’ll wait until Ford testifies before making decision on Kavanaugh MORE (Alaska) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump hits McCain on ObamaCare vote GOP, White House start playing midterm blame game Arizona race becomes Senate GOP’s ‘firewall’ MORE (Ariz.) to block a “skinny” repeal of ObamaCare. 

Collins, McCain and GOP Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulA Senator Gary Johnson could be good not just for Libertarians, but for the Senate too Conservatives left frustrated as Congress passes big spending bills Senate approves 4B spending bill MORE (R-Ky.) also teamed up against legislation from GOP Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHouse Judiciary chair threatens subpoena if DOJ doesn’t supply McCabe memos by Tuesday Rosenstein report gives GOP new ammo against DOJ Graham: There's a 'bureaucratic coup' taking place against Trump MORE (S.C.) and Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyOvernight Health Care: Opioids package nears finish line | Measure to help drug companies draws ire | Maryland ObamaCare rates to drop Overnight Health Care: HHS diverts funds to pay for detaining migrant children | Health officials defend transfers | Lawmakers consider easing drug company costs in opioids deal Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens 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 AlexanderOvernight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil Cruz gets help from Senate GOP in face of serious challenge from O’Rourke MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySenate Dem: Republicans have 'predetermined' outcome of Kavanaugh hearing Sunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Overnight Health Care: HHS diverts funds to pay for detaining migrant children | Health officials defend transfers | Lawmakers consider easing drug company costs in opioids deal 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.