Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins predicted Sunday that a Texas judge’s decision striking down Obamacare would likely be overturned.
“I think this will be overturned on appeal,” Collins said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” She added, “There’s no reason why the individual mandate provision can’t be struck down and keep all the good provisions of the Affordable Care Act.”
She pointed to the bill’s protections for pre-existing conditions, mandated benefits for substance abuse and mental illness treatment, and a provision that allows young adults to remain on their parents’ policies until age 26.
A federal judge in Texas said Friday that the Affordable Care Act’s individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional and that the rest of the law therefore cannot stand.
A group of states led by California is already vowing to appeal the decision.
Responding to the ruling on Saturday, President Donald Trump declared, “It was a great ruling for our country.”
Collins said Sunday that she does not agree with Trump that Friday’s ruling was “great” for Americans.
“There is widespread support for protecting people with preexisting conditions. There’s also widespread opposition to the individual mandate,” she said.
In September 2017, Collins was one of three Republicans who were opposed to a GOP-sponsored effort to repeal Obamacare, expressing concerns that the legislation didn’t do enough to protect individuals with preexisting conditions. Congress effectively eliminated the individual mandate penalty by reducing it to $0 as part of the GOP’s 2017 tax bill.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed on Sunday to fight the ruling “tooth and nail.”
“The first thing we are going to do, when we get back there in the Senate, is put a vote on the floor urging an intervention in the case,” Schumer said Sunday on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”
The New York Democrat added, “A lot of this depends on congressional intent, and if a majority of the House and the majority of the Senate say that this case should be overturned, it will have a tremendous effect on the appeal.”
Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin said the Texas judge’s decision, and the 20 Republican state attorneys general and governors who brought the lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act “didn’t do the Republican Party any favor.”
“The largest issue in the last election, November 6 election, that moved 40 seats from the Republican column to the Democratic column in the House, the biggest single issue was the Affordable Care Act and whether it would cover people with preexisting conditions,” Durbin, D-Illinois, said on ABC News’ “This Week.” “These Republican attorneys general have set out to abolish this law and to end the protection for people with a medical history.”
CNN’s Ariane de Vogue and Tami Luhby contributed to this report.