The Senate bill intended to be the replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has hit a new stumbling block. Senator Susan Collins of Maine announced on Monday that she is voting no on a motion to move the bill into the debate phase. The announcement came out via Twitter. She prefaced her decision by saying that she wants to work with Senate Democrats to improve the ACA. In its current form, the GOP Health Care Bill cuts billions of dollars from Medicaid and would kick 22 million people off of health insurance. Senator Collins’ decision came on the heels of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of the bill.
Maine is one of the states that haven’t expanded Medicaid under the ACA. But according to a tweet sent out by Collins, 1 in 5 Maine residents are on Medicaid. The sizable amount of money slated to be taken out of the program in the next decade would significantly impact the state.
The Senator also pointed out that her state is already struggling under ACA and that the bill does not address any of those issues. The GOP Health Care Bill actually creates additional issues for hospitals in Maine and makes it more difficult for these institutions to effectively treat patients particularly in rural areas.
Collins is not alone in refusing to move the GOP Health Care Bill forward. Senators Dean Heller and Ron Johnson of Nevada and Wisconsin respectively have also refused. They cite the rushed and secretive process surrounding the new GOP bill and the devastating impact that it could have on Constituents.
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is also against the bill. Unlike his colleagues, however, Paul said that the bill does not go far enough with regard to rolling pack protections and reducing funding.
Originally introduced last Thursday, the GOP Health Care Bill was slated to be voted on prior to the July 4th Congressional Recess. As of Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that the bill needs adjustments and will be looked at again after recess.
Senator Collins’ decision follows days of protests in Congressional districts across the country. Protestors in Charleston, W.V. staged a peaceful sit-in at the office of Senator Shelley Moore Capito followed by arrests of the protestors. Constituents of Florida Senator Marco Rubio staged a die-in as part of their protests. Neither Senator has taken a firm position on the Bill as of yet.