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Politics

Pence 'Disappointed' Collins Preventing Obamacare Repeal

Vice President Mike Pence spoke to radio station WGAN in Portland this morning about Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ decision to vote against the latest GOP attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

“We’re certainly disappointed that Sen. Collins has chosen to vote against the Graham-Cassidy bill,” he said. “We think this is the best opportunity that we’ve had to give the people of Maine, the people of America, a fresh start on the failing policies of Obamacare.”

Collins says a Congressional Budget Office analysis confirms a substantial number of people would lose insurance coverage under the GOP proposal. Collins also opposes the bill’s steep cuts to Medicaid and weakened consumer protections.

The bill caps Medicaid spending by states, which Pence said is a good thing.

“We strongly support putting the Medicaid caps on and putting a budget on Medicaid so that we can meet all the other obligations that we have, whether that’s our military spending or whether that’s in Social Security, whether that’s in Medicare,” he says.

The bill turns Medicaid funding into a block grant and gives states more flexibility on how to spend that money — and Pence said that would give states room to innovate.

Collins says she’ll remain focused on fixing the flaws in the Affordable Care Act. Independent Sen. Angus King is also a “no” vote.