The Maine senator's vote will likely kill yet another attempt to repeal Obamacare.
Maine Senator Susan Collins is the latest Republican to come out in opposition to the Graham-Cassidy bill, Congress’s latest—and possibly last—attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) this year. Collins joins Arizona Senator John McCain and Rand Paul of Kentucky as the three Republicans blocking the bill’s passage. Without their votes, the Republican majority Senate only has 49 votes for the bill.
Collins, along with McCain and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski were the nails in Trumpcare’s coffin in July, with the Arizonan getting the bulk of the credit due to his dramatic, last minute Gladiator-eque thumbs down vote for the previous Obamacare repeal.
Graham-Cassidy, however, seemed designed from the outset to win over McCain—if not all three reluctant Republicans. Sponsored by McCain’s best senatorial friend Lindsey Graham, the bill piled on incentives for Maine and Alaska in an effort to convince their legislators to sign on.
Ultimately though, the bill’s fast-track nature proved to be too expedient for McCain’s liking, who said he will vote against his friend’s wishes and in favor of what the senior senator calls “a return to regular order.” President Trump called McCain’s healthcare votes “a tremendous slap in the face to the Republican Party” in an interview Monday morning.
Collins reportedly passed on the bill after saying Graham-Cassidy does not go far enough in its protections of people with pre-existing conditions, according to CNN. Rand Paul has been vocal in his opposition to Graham-Cassidy from the beginning, calling it “Obamacare lite.” If any of the three current dissenting Republicans waiver, Ted Cruz is also waiting in the wings. On Sunday, a spokesperson said the Texas senator said ‘Right now, they don’t have my vote.’