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Republican Sen. Susan Collins said Friday that she was leaning toward voting against the GOP’s latest legislation to overhaul the US healthcare system, citing the bill’s potential to increase premium costs for people with preexisting conditions.
According to the Portland Press Herald, Collins said at an event in her home state of Maine on Friday morning that she was moving closer to being another definitive “no” vote on the bill, known as Graham-Cassidy. Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has already come out publicly against it.
“I’m reading the fine print on Graham-Cassidy,” Collins said, according to the Press Herald. “The premiums would be so high they would be unaffordable.”
She added: “I’m just trying to do what I believe is the right thing for the people of Maine.”
The Graham-Cassidy bill would not erase the protections under the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare law also known as Obamacare, preventing insurance companies from outright denying coverage to those with preexisting conditions, but it could allow for more expensive premiums. The bill would also permit states to opt out of providing benefits such as prescription drugs, which could result in more people paying out of pocket.
However, an architect of the bill disagrees. During an interview with the conservative talk-radio host CL Bryant on Thursday, Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy said that while states could develop programs of their own, the bill mandated fair coverage for people with preexisting conditions.
“We have language in there that says a governor may decide he wants to try, or she wants to try, to lower healthcare costs and can come up with a plan to do so, but whatever plan they have must make sure that those with preexisting conditions have access to affordable and adequate coverage,” Cassidy said.