Sen. Susan Collins comes out against House GOP healthcare bill

Sen. Susan Collins comes out against House GOP healthcare bill
© Greg Nash

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMcConnell pledges to be 'Grim Reaper' for progressive policies Senate Republicans tested on Trump support after Mueller Collins: Mueller report includes 'an unflattering portrayal' of Trump MORE (R-Maine), a key centrist vote in the Senate, said in an interview published Thursday that she opposes the House GOP's ObamaCare replacement bill as it is currently written. 

“This is not a bill I could support in its current form,” Collins told the Portland Press Herald. “It really misses the mark.”

Collins pointed to the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the bill earlier this week, which found that 24 million more people would be uninsured by 2026 under the plan. In particular, like other more centrist lawmakers in both chambers, Collins pointed to the finding that low-income people and seniors would have to pay far more for insurance under the House GOP bill, known as the American Heath Care Act, than under ObamaCare. 

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“This bill doesn’t come close to achieving the goal of allowing low-income seniors to purchase health insurance,” Collins said. 

Collins’s announcement illustrates how tough the path ahead for the bill is. It is already a serious question as to whether the measure has enough votes to pass the House, where both conservatives and centrists have strong objections. 

However, the path appears even harder in the Senate, where Republicans can lose just two votes. Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulDem super PAC campaign urges Republicans to back impeachment Booker, Harris have missed most Senate votes Trump vetoes measure ending US support for Saudi-led war in Yemen MORE (R-Ky.) has already said he opposes the bill, in addition to Collins. Other conservative senators, including Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeHillicon Valley: Facebook expects up to B FTC fine | DHS face scanning at airports sparks alarm | New Twitter tool targets election misinformation | Lawmakers want answers on Google 'Sensorvault' Dems accuse White House of caving to Trump's 'ego' on Russian meddling Kushner saying immigration plan will be 'neutral' on legal admissions: report MORE (R-Utah) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO'Rourke to give commencement address at Texas's oldest black college Cornyn campaign, Patton Oswalt trade jabs over comedian's support for Senate candidate MJ Hegar announces Texas Senate bid MORE (R-Texas), have strong objections, as do a range of more centrist Republican senators. 

House Republican centrists are worried about voting for the bill if it is only destined to die in the Senate. 

One possible change to the bill being pushed by some Republicans in both chambers is to increase the tax credits for low-income people and seniors, to address the affordability problems.  

“This is so complex. It’s important we do this right,” Collins said.