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Collins: Defunding Obamacare “Not Realistic”

Obama Oval meeting Rep. Susan Collins of Maine

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said Friday she does not believe the defund strategy pursued by House Republicans is a realistic way to get rid of President Barack Obama’s controversial health care law.

Collins voted against the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, in 2010. She has repeatedly voted in favor of measures to repeal and replace or otherwise modify the law nearly a dozen times, including a 2012 vote to defund in 2012.

She said she will look closely at the House GOP proposal, which passed early Friday in a 230-189 vote, when it comes before the Senate next week, most likely Wednesday. But, she said, “Ultimately, it will not be realistic to link essential government programs, such as Medicare for our seniors or paychecks for our troops – many of whom are still serving in harm’s way – to defunding Obamacare.”

If she does not vote to defund Obamacare, it will not be because she’s happy with the law. She said she has voted to strike down the law in the past because it fails to rein in the cost of health care and to provide consumers with more affordable choices.

“[Obamacare] will impose billions of dollars in new taxes, fees, and penalties, leading to fewer choices and higher insurance costs for many middle-income Americans,” she said.

Collins said a budget that does not fund the law has zero chance of passing in the U.S. Senate, where Democrats hold a majority of votes, or of escaping the president’s veto. “The fact is… neither the current Senate, which is controlled by the Democrats, nor the President, will ever agree to repeal this law.”

Responsibility for coming up with a solution rests in White House, said Collins.

“A government shutdown would hurt many Americans and is no way to govern,” she said. “The president needs to work with House and Senate leaders to come up with a workable compromise.”

The Senate is expected to take up the House resolution on Wednesday.

S.E. Robinson
Maine Wire Reporter

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