Susan Collins, Voicing Doubt on Health Bill, Leaves It Close to Collapse

“I’m concerned about the impact on the Medicaid program, which has been on the books for more than 50 years and provides health care to our most vulnerable citizens, including disabled children and low-income seniors,” Ms. Collins said on Sunday.

She added that she was also concerned about “the impact on cost and coverage,” as well as “the erosion of protections for people with pre-existing conditions like asthma, arthritis, cancer, diabetes and what it would mean to them.”

Still, she stopped short of declaring that she would vote against the measure, saying she wanted to wait for an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that is expected to be released early this week.

The analysis is unlikely to transform her views. The budget office said last week that it was aiming to provide a preliminary fiscal assessment of the bill by early this week. But the budget office said that it would take at least several weeks to provide an analysis of the bill’s effects on health insurance coverage and premiums.

The Graham-Cassidy bill would repeal the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act as well as the tax credits that are provided to help people buy insurance on the individual market. In their place, it would provide block grants to the states to use for health care.

It would also allow states to seek federal waivers that would allow insurers to charge higher premiums to people with pre-existing medical conditions and to omit certain benefits, like maternity care and mental health care, that they are currently required to offer.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Mr. Paul reiterated his view that the bill was “not repeal.” He expressed willingness to support a narrower repeal measure, but made clear that he objected to the central premise of the Graham-Cassidy bill.

“I’m just not for block-granting Obamacare,” Mr. Paul said, “and calling it a day.”


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