Sen. Susan Collins said she wanted to see an analysis from the Congressional Budget Office before deciding whether to vote on the new GOP backed health care bill. (Ron Sachs/CNP/Sipa USA/TNS)

Future for new GOP health care bill looks slim

WASHINGTON — The already faltering prospects for the latest plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act worsened Sunday as a prominent Republican moderate said it would be “very difficult” to envision voting for it.
Sen. Susan Collins said on CNN that she wanted to see an analysis of the Republican bill by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office before making up her mind.

Previous analyses of Republican plans by the CBO forecast millions of people being left unable to afford coverage.

Two other Republican senators, John McCain of Arizona and Rand Paul of Kentucky, have already said they would not support the current version of the bill, which is the third attempt by Senate Republican leaders to scrap the Affordable Care Act, the signature legislative achievement of President Barack Obama.

With 52 Republicans in the Senate and no Democratic support for repealing the health care law, the repeal bill can afford to lose only two GOP votes.

“It’s very difficult for me to envision a scenario where I would end up voting for this bill,” Collins said. “I have a number of serious reservations about it.”

Paul, on NBC, said he has always wanted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but that the latest bill, by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy ”sets up a perpetual food fight” over the formula for health care spending.

Asked if he could envision changes that would allow him to support the bill, Paul said he might be able to if the bill’s central element, block grants to states to cover health care spending, were eliminated — an unlikely prospect.

Graham and Cassidy, on ABC, said they had not yet abandoned the bill and suggested they could still work out an agreement with Paul. They also said they were continuing to discuss the bill with Sen. Lisa Murkowsk who has not declared a position but has said she has considerable doubts about the proposal.

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