Sep 25, 2017 (WASHINGTON) Susan Collins (R-Maine) is the third Republican to say that she will vote no on the Graham-Cassidy Bill, that would effectively overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA). She acknowledges that there are “many problems in the Affordable Care Act that do need to be fixed.” However, in her mind, the Graham-Cassidy Bill had critical failures. They are as follows:
- It made sweeping and fundamental changes in the traditional Medicaid program. In her mind, it would have place healthcare out of the reach of children and seniors, and the very poor. It would have cut a trillion dollars from the program between 2020 and 2036.
- It weakened the protections for people with preexisting conditions.
- Hospitals and insurers agree that this will lead to higher insurance rates.
The Congressional Budget Office also released a partial report, which stated that this would reduce coverage for millions of Americans. Here is the full statement from Senator Collins. With this decision, it is questionable if there will even be a vote. With the end of the fiscal year, the special reconciliation rule that allowed Republicans to try to get this legislation through under budget rules are over. Now they will need 60 votes to pass any changes. This likely means the ACA is safe for now.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has also indicated that he is not inclined to vote for this legislation, making this 4 Republicans. In this case, because the bill does not go far enough. The other two are John McCain of Arizona and Rand Paul from Kentucky.