“I would like to see us put together a bipartisan group to solve this problem, of Democrats who acknowledge there are problems with the current law, that it is not working well in several states, and Republicans who also want to make sure that we’re not reducing coverage and we’re giving flexibility,” Collins said on ABC’s This Week.
Senators have questioned aspects of the House bill, which would slash funding for Medicaid, the program that provides insurance for the poor, and roll back much of its expansion during the Obama administration.
It also would allow states to opt out of some existing protections for people with pre-existing health conditions. While insurers could not deny insurance because of such conditions, they would be allowed to decide how much to charge.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), one of the most moderate Democrats in the Senate, said his state “gets absolutely slammed” in the House bill because it has a lot of elderly residents and people with pre-existing conditions.
“I just want to work and sit down and try to get something done, but no one’s asked us,” he said on CBS’s Face the Nation. “Our congressional delegation says, ‘don’t worry, the Senate will fix it.’ And no one has asked any Democrat. And I am the most centrist.”
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the White House would not dictate the process.
“I think we want to let them do their work, let them work this out. They are all very mature. They all know what is going on. They all know the commitments we have made to the American people to repeal and replace a failing program in Obamacare,” he said on Fox News Sunday.