Collins Concedes Insurer Subsidies Won’t Make It Into Spending Bill Despite McConnell’s Promise
Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had promised Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) that in exchange for her vote on the tax package, he would push through legislation shoring up the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. But the pact faced strong resistance in the House.
The Associated Press:
Congress Deals Pair Of Blows To 'Obamacare'
Two Republican senators abandoned their fight Wednesday for legislation this year to help contain premium costs by resuming federal subsidies to insurers, as Congress dealt a pair of blows to President Barack Obama's health care law. Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Tennessee's Lamar Alexander ran into opposition from both parties to inserting the language into a must-pass bill preventing a weekend federal shutdown. They said they'd pursue the effort early next year, though there is no guarantee it would succeed. (12/20)
Collins Lets McConnell Slide On Promise To Shore Up Insurance Markets In 2017
Collins acknowledged on Wednesday that McConnell and Vice President Pence won’t be able to keep their promise to enact the insurance stabilization legislation in exchange for voting for tax reform. Collins and Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said in a statement Wednesday that they will introduce the insurance market stabilization proposal “after the first of the year when the Senate will consider the omnibus spending bill” and other priorities such as reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and funding for community health centers. (Bolton, 12/20)
Republicans Drop Obamacare Fix In Rush To Avert Shutdown
The two chambers had been on a collision course for days over the subsidies bill, with House rank-and-file Republicans staring down Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Even with the Obamacare flash point out of the picture, House Republican leaders will have a hard sales job to persuade their fractured conference to swallow another kick-the-can spending bill. And in the Senate, the suggestion of including provisions that would provide temporary leeway for certain defense funding is already deterring Democratic support. (Ferris, Caygle and Haberkorn, 12/20)
Broken Health Care Pledge Tests Collins-McConnell Relationship
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) will be a crucial swing vote for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) next year, but it may be tougher to strike deals with her after McConnell failed to fulfill a pledge on health care. The moderate senator told reporters this month that she had an “ironclad” commitment from McConnell and Vice President Pence to pass legislation by the end of the year to stabilize ObamaCare premiums. She wanted that assurance before committing her vote for tax reform. (Bolton, 12/21)