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Sen. Collins: ‘Very Difficult’ To Imagine Voting For Obamacare Repeal Bill

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Republican Senator Susan Collins (Maine) said on Sunday that she is unlikely to support the latest GOP ObamaCare bill, signaling that Trumpcare will suffer another major defeat in the US Senate.

“It’s very difficult for me to envision a scenario where I would end up voting for this bill,” she told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

She added that she has “a number of serious reservations about” the bill from GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (La.), which would replace ObamaCare’s insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansion with block grants.

But Collins stressed that she has not made a final decision and is waiting for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis that could be released as soon as Monday.

GOP leadership can’t afford to lose Collins’s vote if they want to pass the ObamaCare repeal bill.

GOP Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) announced on Friday that he couldn’t in “good conscience” vote for the Graham-Cassidy legislation. GOP Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) has also said he is opposed to the legislation.

Several other key senators, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), remain on the fence.

Collins said on Friday that she was “leaning against” supporting the legislation.

“The premiums would be so high they would be unaffordable,” she told the Portland Press-Herald, referring to the cost for individuals with pre-existing health conditions.

Collins is widely viewed as a likely “no” vote after opposing each of the GOP repeal proposals in July.

GOP leadership lacks a clear path to getting 50 votes for the Graham-Cassidy bill before the rules allowing Republicans to pass their healthcare with a simple majority—bypassing a Democratic filibuster—expire at the end of the month.

Despite the long odds, Graham, Cassidy and the Trump administration have pledged to keep searching for 50 votes as they try to find a way to pass legislation this week.

An ObamaCare repeal bill that needs 60 votes likely couldn’t pass the Senate, with Democrats unanimously opposed to the effort.

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