The hysterics brought about by the House passage of the AHCA seem to be premature, at least according to Senator Susan Collins.
The Republican from Maine insists the legislation passed by the lower house is nowhere near what she and her fellow colleagues in the Senate will produce.
Sen. Susan Collins said on Sunday the Senate will not be tied down by the Republican health care bill approved by the House.
Asked on ABC’s This Week if she would vote yes on the House bill, the Maine Republican said she wouldn’t have to.
“The Senate is starting from scratch. We’re going to draft our own bill. And I’m convinced that we’re going to take the time to do it right.”
Senator Collins listed the proposed tax credits and specifics surrounding pre-existing conditions as two of her main concerns. Another concern of hers is Planned Parenthood funding.
The senator also said she didn’t believe any Republican health care plan should deny Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood.
“That is an important issue to me,” Collins said, “because I don’t think that low-income women should be denied their choice of health care providers, for family planning, cancer screenings, for well women care.”
I’m not shocked. This Republican isn’t actually a conservative, and has long been pro-choice/pro-abortion.
In 2003, Collins voted “no” on the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. Just this year, she voted “no” on a resolution that ultimately passed and overturned a ruling from the Obama administration regarding Title X funding. States now have the freedom to withhold Title X funds from clinics, like Planned Parenthood, which perform abortions. However, most of the public funding heading Cecile Richards’ way comes from Medicaid. According to a PP spokesperson, that amount is 75%. The Title X victory was a step forward, but to really tackle Planned Parenthood funding, Medicaid would need to be addressed.
This issue looms large in Collins’ mind, but she conveniently fails to mention that Planned Parenthood is outnumbered 20 to 1 by women’s health care clinics that don’t perform abortions. Women (and babies) of all income levels will be just fine if PP is denied public funding.
The upper house appears to be ready for their turn in revising the AHCA. From what Senator Collins has said, that version will look nothing like what the House offered.
As of right now, it’s unclear whether the Senate’s attempt will actually be something to cheer, or just a slightly better version of Obamacare.