According to a recent report, “Maine would see the largest percent increase in the uninsured of any state” if the ACA is repealed. Over 100,000 Mainers would lose access to affordable healthcare, and it would cost the state millions in funds allocated for subsidies and Medicaid expansion. Thanks to Maine Senator Susan Collins’ key vote on the 2017 Republican tax giveaways – and her lack of leadership in allowing the fast-tracking of Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court – the ACA could be overturned in a matter of weeks, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Senator Collins’ record tells the story:
1) Senator Collins Has Voted Against the ACA Over 20 Times Senator Collins voted against the ACA when it first passed Congress and voted to defund or repeal it over 20 times since it became law.
2) Collins’ Tax Vote Opened the Door to the ACA Repeal Lawsuit Collins voted for the 2017 Republican tax cuts, which opened the door to the current lawsuit that could cost millions of Americans their health insurance, in the midst of a pandemic. In the wake of her vote, she claimed to have negotiated support for legislation that would shore up the ACA. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ensured that the legislation never came up for a vote, effectively killing it.
3) Collins ACA Replacement Bill (Which Never Passed) Would Have Increased Health Care Costs for Less Wealthy Individuals In early 2017, Collins introduced a bill that would repeal and replace parts of the ACA and give states more freedom to choose their health insurance plan. The bill would allow states to choose between staying with the ACA, a new program that would give individuals access to an HSA funded by subsidies, or doing nothing at all. The plan was swiftly criticized for setting up a program that would allow the wealthy to subsidize their health insurance while lower-income individuals would struggle to pay for catastrophic insurance. It was also seen as overly complicated.
4) Collins Signed a Brief to the Supreme Court Arguing the ACA Should be Eliminated Senator Collins joined her Republican colleagues to sign on to an Amicus Brief in 2011 arguing that because the individual mandate should be ruled as an overreach by the federal government, the entire law should fall. This same argument is still being used by Republicans today in the current case pending before the Supreme Court.
5) Trump Administration Says Collins’ Tax Vote is the Basis of the ACA Repeal Lawsuit to be decided by the Supreme Court
Based on the passage of the tax bill and the crucial vote by Collins to pass that legislation, Texas sued to overturn the entire health care law. Eventually joined by 17 other Attorneys General and the Trump Administration, the lawsuit has now made its way to the Supreme Court. The Administration has taken the opposite position stating in its brief filed with the court in June “Nothing the 2017 Congress did demonstrates it would have intended the rest of the A.C.A. to continue to operate in the absence of these three integral provisions,” the Administration writes and effectively says that Collins’ vote should cause the ACA to fall.
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