On Monday, Senator Susan Collins of Maine announced that she will not be voting for the Graham-Cassidy Bill, effectively dooming the bill and stymying the latest Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Healthcare Act.
Collins voiced her opposition after the Congressional Budget Office released their analysis, predicting that millions of people would lose insurance under the law. In a statement, she criticized the loss of protections for people with pre-existing conditions, its cuts to Medicaid and the rushed process behind crafting the bill—the same frustration that lost the support of Senator John McCain last week.
“Health care is a deeply personal, complex issue that affects every single one of us and one-sixth of the American economy,” Collins said. “Sweeping reforms to our health care system and to Medicaid can’t be done well in a compressed time frame, especially when the actual bill is a moving target.”
“This is simply not the way we should be approaching an important and complex issue that must be handled thoughtfully and fairly for all Americans,” she continued.
Collins and McCain are joined by Senator Rand Paul in their firm opposition to the bill, and others, including Senator Ted Cruz, have strongly hinted that they’re not satisfied with it either. Senator Mitch McConnell can only lose two GOP votes if he wants the bill to pass. Unless Collins, McCain or Paul has a change of heart before September 30, the bill will die on the floor.
The bill was a long shot from the beginning, with Republican senators divided on what a solid national health care policy should look like. The Graham-Cassidy Bill failed to drum up support from health care professionals and suffered some nasty PR under sustained criticisms from Jimmy Kimmel.
If Republicans can’t get their bill passed before September 30, they will need Democratic votes in order to get any new health care plans through. That would be a tough sell but then, a bipartisan attempt at health care legislation might be just what the doctor ordered.