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Republican Senators Oppose Graham-Cassidy

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Republican Sen. Susan Collins indicated Sept. 22 that she intends to vote against the latest GOP attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The bill, drafted by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy, is expected to be put to a vote by the end of September, the Press Herald reported.

Collins spoke about the bill during an appearance in her home state of Maine.

"I'm leaning against the bill," said Collins, who was one of three Republicans to reject the last repeal attempt in July, according to the Press Herald.

She stated that she had several concerns related to the proposal.

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"I'm reading the fine print on Graham-Cassidy," added Collins. "The premiums would be so high they would be unaffordable."

She noted that she would take a final decision following a preliminary assessment of the bill's impact by the Congressional Budget Office.

"I'm just trying to do what I believe is the right thing for the people of Maine," she said.

She also pointed to problems the bill would create for rural communities, referring to a hospital in a small Maine community as an example.

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"If Medicaid is cut that hospital will not survive," added Collins. "It's the biggest employer in town. It has 180 good-paying jobs. So not only would people lose access to health care that they need, it would be a devastating blow to the community. You could go all over the state and find that would be true."

Sen. John McCain came out against Graham-Cassidy in a statement on Sept. 22.

"I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal," wrote McCain, according to HuffPost.

The entire Democratic caucus opposes the bill, meaning Republicans can only afford to lose two votes if the measure is to pass.

"I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried," McCain added. "Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it. Without a full [Congressional Budget Office] score, which won't be available by the end of the month, we won't have reliable answers to any of those questions."

Sen. Rand Paul has criticized the bill from the opposite standpoint, arguing that it doesn't go far enough. If Paul, Collins and McCain vote against Graham-Cassidy, it would fail to pass.

This does not even take into account another possible GOP dissenter, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Murkowski voted against the Obamacare repeal bill in July, but has yet to state her position on the latest draft.

Sources: Press Herald, HuffPost / Featured Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Gage Skidmore/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons, Denaly National Park and Preserve/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons

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