Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) just doesn't know when to stop. She's still talking about what she wants you to believe was the great work she did in securing "promises" from Mitch McConnell that her vote on the massive transfer of wealth from everyone to the Republican donor class in the tax cut scam wouldn't harm the Affordable Care Act. And with every utterance, she's looking more and more craven as she keeps trying to redefine those promises as one by one they fall.
Remember her original demands? She wanted three measures taken to shore up Obamacare markets and Medicare and it was supposed to all be accomplished before the vote on the tax bill. The tax bill vote came in the Senate anyway, so she changed her demand to having the votes on these measures before the Senate passed the final version. That vote came and went, as did her demand so she changed it, too—the Obamacare stabilization votes had to come in 2017. We're now in 2018. And she's still insisting that she's made sure the votes will happen, but she's giving herself a lot more leeway in when it will happen. A full year, in fact.
In an interview with Inside Health Policy published Thursday, Collins said she hopes the policies she proposed will pass and be implemented before 2019, when the repeal of the individual mandate is expected to shrink the individual insurance market by several million people and drive up premiums by at least 10 percent.
"When the mandate is repealed in 2019, we must have other health care reforms in place in order to prevent further increases in the cost of health insurance" Collins' office said in a statement. "Senator Collins believes that averting these price spikes, particularly for low-income families, should be a goal that members of both parties can embrace."
In other words, Collins didn't accomplish a damned thing. One of her proposals is now pretty much obsolete, anyway. That's passage of the Murray-Alexander legislation that would have restored the cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers that Trump has done away with. Health insurers figured out a work-around for the lost funds, anyway. Their work-around, in fact, meant that there were plans available for free in 98 percent of counties for people who qualify for subsidies.
One of the other things she wanted was legislation providing $500 million in 2018 to set up a reinsurance or high-risk pool program, and then $5 billion a year for 2019 and 2020. That would cover a tiny percentage of people with pre-existing conditions. That amount of funding doesn't even constitute a drop in the bucket of what's needed.
Neither of these things would do what Collins says—make up for the harm that her vote to repeal the individual mandate in Obamacare will cause. She's not just moving her own goalposts—again—she's compounding the lies she's been making to her constituents.