The New England Council / Flickr August 7 2014 Sen Susan Collins...
The New England Council / Flickr

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) finds it “extremely disappointing that Speaker Ryan chose not to include our health insurance legislation in the government funding bill due to opposition from Leader Pelosi.” That would be the health insurance legislation she traded away months ago in exchange for some magic beans from Mitch McConnell, when she provided the clinch vote for the Republican tax scam. One suspects that Collins became “extremely disappointed” because the local news discovered her latest failure, including the fact that the even before her bill didn’t get a vote, it was a failure.

In December, Collins said she would support the controversial, Republican-led $1.5 trillion tax cut bill in exchange for promises by Republican leaders that the ACA stabilization measures she had lobbied for would be approved. The tax reform bill aims to stimulate the economy by lowering corporate tax rates, but with fewer tax dollars coming in, the bill would increase the national debt by $1 trillion over 10 years, according to official estimates.

Collins sought the ACA stabilization measures because the tax bill also revoked the ACA’s individual mandate, which health care experts warned would result in more uninsured Americans and a weakening of the health insurance marketplace. The individual mandate required people to purchase insurance or pay a penalty.

Let’s just talk about what Leader Pelosi’s objection was about. It was about the provision that Collins included that have essentially stripped all abortion coverage from insurance plans in the Affordable Care Act markets. That not only undermines women’s health and rights, it would complicate abortion coverage in the entire individual market.

Collins basks in her role as an “endangered” pro-choice Republican, but here she was more than happy to throw that mantle away in an effort to save face for the total embarrassment she’s been on this. She’s just going to have to live with the fact that she got totally played by leadership, and the fact that her duplicity in the process has been exposed.

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