Healthcare

Collins: ‘Disappointing’ that bipartisan health-care effort was halted

Greg Nash

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said Wednesday that it was “disappointing” a bipartisan health-care effort was halted after the White House threw its support behind a measure pushed by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.). 

In an interview with CNN, Collins said she had not yet decided whether she will vote for the Graham-Cassidy bill, which seeks to end federal ObamaCare insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansion and replace them with block grants to states.

Collins said she is waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to release a partial analysis of the Graham-Cassidy bill before she makes a decision on it.

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But she acknowledged that she preferred an effort by the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Health Committee to stabilize the individual insurance market and fix the problems with ObamaCare, rather than repeal it outright.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Health Committee, said Tuesday that the efforts had come to a standstill after Democrats and Republicans were unable to reach a deal that could pass in the Senate.

“It’s disappointing that this bipartisan effort — which should be our approach — was not allowed to proceed to conclusion,” Collins said.

In addition to Collins, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) are also said to remain undecided on the Graham-Cassidy bill. The three Republicans voted against a slimmed-down ObamaCare repeal bill in late July, throwing a wrench in the GOP’s efforts to do away with the health-care law.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has already indicated he will not vote for the Graham-Cassidy bill, arguing that it does not go far enough to repeal ObamaCare

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