Sen. Susan Collins on Sunday called it a “mistake” for the House Republicans’ health care bill to defund Planned Parenthood.
“That is an important issue to me because I don’t think that low-income women should be denied their choice of health care providers for family planning, cancer screenings, some well-women care,” the Maine Republican said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“It’s not the only issue in this huge bill, but I certainly think that it’s not fair and it is a mistake to defund Planned Parenthood,” said Ms. Collins. “But it’s one of many issues.”
The American Health Care Act, passed Thursday by the House, redirects most federal funding from Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, to community health care centers, which outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities by about 20-to-1, according to Life Site.
About half of the funding in Planned Parenthood’s annual $1 billion budget comes from the federal government, primarily through Medicaid reimbursements.
Ms. Collins, a moderate who has emerged as a key swing vote in the health care debate, has introduced with Sen. Bill Cassidy, Louisiana Republican, a separate bill to unwind Obamacare.
She said the Senate would be “starting from scratch” rather than using the House bill as a launch point.
“The House bill is not going to come before us,” said Ms. Collins. “The Senate is starting from scratch. We’re going to draft our own bill, and I’m convinced that we’re going to take the time to do it right.”
The House passed Thursday the American Health Care Act by 217-213 with no Democrats voting in support and 20 Republicans, mainly moderates, voting against it.