As the debate continues to rage in Congress over the final push to repeal and replace Obamacare, Maine has been targeted as a key state by both proponents and opponents, due to Senator Susan Collins’ status as a key vote on the bill.
Opponents, which include several political action committees and special interest groups dedicated to maintaining the status quo in healthcare, have been running ads on television and radio for months, urging Collins to stand against reform. Proponents, including Vice President Mike Pence who joined Portland’s WGAN Morning News on Tuesday morning to stump for the bill, have urged Mainers to support the bill and lobby Collins on its behalf.
Not all of the efforts to convince Senator Collins on the issue have been above board, however. As recently as Tuesday afternoon, Mainers have been receiving a rather sinister, shadowy, anonymous robocall that paints a grim picture of the healthcare reform bill, outright lying about it, and attempting to terrify the people who pick up the phone into calling Collins in a panic.
The call, which does not disclose its source and comes from a Washington, D.C. phone number, accuses Republicans in Washington of wanting to kill babies by kicking them out of the hospital and refusing care (something which is illegal). There are no fingerprints on the call, though the tactics certainly look familiar.
The audio of the call, exclusively obtained by The Maine Wire, can be heard above. What follows is a transcript of the call.
Woman: “Hello? Hello?
Man: “I’m here, babe.”
Woman: “That was weird. Honey, they’re gonna kill our baby.”
Man: “What are you talking about?”
Woman: “Senator Collins is going to vote to blow up the healthcare system and do away with lifetime caps on benefits. Everyone needs to be very afraid, our baby could be kicked out of the hospital even though we pay our insurance premiums.”
Man: “This is disgusting! I’m gonna throw up! What do we do?”
Woman: “We need to get all of our friends to call Senator Collins and tell her not to let our baby die just so they can meet some artificial legislative deadline.”
Man: “Okay. What is Senator Collins’ number? I’ll send an email to the whole family and my buddies.”
Woman: “It’s 202-224-2523. Please don’t let them kill our baby.”
Senator Collins indicated last night that she would not be supporting the most recent Senate bill that sought repeal.