Sen. Susan Collins, perennial "moderate" of the Senate Republican caucus who rarely does anything to hamper Mitch McConnell's leadership, is making more noises about Obamacare repeal, saying first there needs to be a replacement ready to go.
On the Affordable Care Act, Collins further detailed her position that the health care law should not be repealed if there's no suitable replacement plan in place.
Republicans, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, are pushing plans that would immediately repeal the ACA and delay a replacement for three years. Media reports suggest the repeal could be on Trump's desk shortly after he takes office Jan. 20.
"I'm a little concerned about the speed in which this is occurring," said Collins, who opposed the ACA as it was being debated in 2009.
Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, Trump's health and human services nominee, is advocating for repeal of the ACA and for stripping the subsidies that help those earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level afford individual insurance.
But Collins said removing the subsidies would cause individual insurance markets to collapse, especially if there's no approved plan.
It's going to take more than talk this time for Collins. She's going to have to actually resist, and pull any other uncomfortable Republicans—like Sen. Lamar Alexander, who has also said they should have a replacement plan ready—with her. Collins’ talk over the years has been pretty damned cheap, along with so many Republicans like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Jeff Flake. Here's their chance to finally do something.
Holding your breath would be ill-advised.