- The Washington Times - Friday, December 8, 2017

A pro-Obamacare coalition urged Sen. Susan Collins on Friday to flip-flop and spurn the GOP tax bill, saying her attempts to mitigate premium hikes tied to repealing the “individual mandate” tax will fall short.

Ms. Collins, a Republican moderate from Maine, reluctantly backed a Senate bill that slashes taxes for corporations and certain individuals, but only after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised to mitigate its repeal of Obamacare’s “individual mandate” by holding votes on bipartisan bills to tamp down premiums in the insurance markets.

House conservatives say their own leaders weren’t a part of that deal, leading them to believe they won’t be called on to bolster the Affordable Care Act as part of a must-pass spending bill later this month.

Senator Collins said Republican leaders promised her they would fix things. Now, we know they lied to her, and Mainers will suffer the consequences,” Save My Care, a coalition fighting Obamacare repeal, said in the ad released Friday.

Ms. Collins pleaded for patience this week, saying efforts to pass a bill that restore Obamacare’s “cost-sharing” payments to insurers and provide reinsurance funding to subsidize pricey customers are still afloat.

“I want to tell you that the negotiations are going well and that I remain confident, despite your skepticism, that will eventually get that,” she told reporters on the way to Senate votes Thursday.

The new ad cites Congressional Budget Office estimates that say 13 million fewer Americans will hold insurance over the coming decade and that premiums will rise by an average of 10 percent, if Obamacare’s mandate to hold insurance or pay a tax is repealed.

Avalere Health, a D.C.-based consultancy, said passing the pair of health measures Ms. Collins wants will slash individual-market premiums by 18 percent.

However, they said the analysis still didn’t account for instability that repeal of the mandate would create.

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