Dear Senator Susan Collins: Please don’t play the fool. Your wholly insufficient “Obamacare” reinsurance fund bill would need to be enacted by Congress before you vote “yes” on this terrible GOP tax bill.
If you vote for this terrible tax bill first, Donald Trump will renege on his agreement to support your “Obamacare” reinsurance fund bill, as he has done so often. Trump is only agreeing now to get your vote on the terrible GOP tax bill. If you give him what he wants first, he will simply use you and cast your bill aside. I really shouldn’t have to explain the obvious to you.
The Hill reports a major policy reversal by Donald Trump, who remains hellbent on destroying “Obamacare.” Trump backs bipartisan fixes to ObamaCare markets:
President Trump told Republican senators Tuesday he supports two bipartisan efforts to stabilize ObamaCare’s insurance markets.
Trump, during a luncheon on Capitol Hill, said he supports a bill proposed by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), that would continue key ObamaCare insurer payments.
He also said he supports a bill proposed by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) that would set up a reinsurance fund to help insurers cover higher-cost individuals.
“He said he supports Alexander-Murray. He said, more importantly, he supports Collins-Nelson … which has widespread bipartisan support,” Alexander told reporters after the lunch.
Collins, who has opposed the GOP Senate tax bill’s repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate, has met with the president in recent days about her concerns.
Asked if she were feeling more optimistic about the tax-reform bill, she said: “That is a fair assessment because I believe a lot of my concerns, it appears are going to be addressed.”
Collins said Trump understands the “need to have something to offset the premium increases” that would occur from repealing the individual mandate and “appeared very open to the combination of Alexander-Murray and Collins-Nelson.”
The Maine senator said she, GOP leadership and members of the Finance Committee also met Tuesday to talk about passing the two proposals.
Collins said she met with Trump, Alexander, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) separately before the lunch meeting, and Trump expressed his support for the bipartisan ObamaCare bills then as well.
“I think they’re eager to help me get to yes,” she said, smiling.
I’ll bet they are.
Collins said it’s “really important” those bills pass before a conference committee report on the tax bill.
Yeah, no. It’s “really important” these bills pass before the vote on the tax bill, or it’s never going to happen. You can take it to the bank.
“How that’s going to be done and what the vehicle is, I do not know,” Collins said.
There’s a real strategist for you. God help us.
Additionally, she said it appears that a conference committee will meet to reconcile the differences between the two chambers’ bills.
Alexander said the bills could be included in the year-end spending deal. Government funding is currently set to run out next month [December 8].
But Democrats so far appear unwilling to support Alexander-Murray if Republicans repeal the mandate.
“You can’t sabotage the entire system and then say you’re going to do a small little fix on top of that sabotage,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters.
“Murray-Alexander was never designed to be in a situation where there was a direct bomb thrown into the ACA. Murray Alexander is great but first our Republican colleagues should abandon the idea of sabotaging the ACA.”
Sen. Collins said she voted against the “Obamacare” repeal bill because of its devastating effects on Medicaid. Yet this GOP tax bill contains substantial cuts to Medicaid funding. Moreover, the Congressional Budget Office says the GOP tax bill will instantly trigger $400 billion in automatic cuts to Medicare in the next 10 years, including $25 billion in the first year after enactment alone. The GOP’s tax cut bonanza is a major attack on Medicare.
Even without her “Obamacare” reinsurance fund bill, Sen. Collins cannot vote for this terrible tax bill and remain intellectually and morally consistent with her vote against “Obamacare” repeal. She is selling her soul for tax cuts to corporations and Plutocrats.