Senator Susan Collins, less than a day after casting a difficult vote against her party’s healthcare repeal bill, has returned to her home state of Maine to the warmest welcome she’s received in her 20 years in the Senate.
Ms Collins, who was joined by two other Republican senators in voting “no” on the healthcare bill, later told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union” that her reception affirmed her
“It really was so extraordinary, heartwarming, and affirming,“ Collins said on the program. ”I got off the plane, and there was a large group of outbound passengers, none of whom I happened to know, and spontaneously some of them started applauding, and then virtually all of them started to applaud. It was just amazing.”
“It was very encouraging and affirming, especially after arriving home after a very difficult time,” Ms Collins said.
Ms Collins said that she voted against the Obamacare repeal bill — which Republicans have promised they’d eliminate for seven years now — because the legislation withheld federal funding from Planned Parenthood, and because she didn’t think that the new legislation provided adequate coverage for her constituents.
She was joined by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, and by Arizona Senator John McCain, who had returned to Washington to cast his vote following a brain cancer diagnosis. Those three Republicans teamed up with the entire Democratic caucus to kill the bill.
Ms Collins says that her colleagues in Congress should work together and across the aisle to try and combat the problems the market shortcomings of Obamacare. Republican repeal and replace bills so far have received worrying Congressional Budget Office scores, and appear likely to drop millions of people from health care insurance rolls over the next ten years if enacted.
Republicans in Congress have had a hard time pushing forward with a repeal and replace bill, and those failures have led President Donald Trump to signal — via Twitter — that he thinks it would be acceptable if, absent a Republican bill, Congress simply lets Obamacare markets fail completely so that they can start over.
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