At Parades and Protests, GOP Lawmakers Get Earful about Health Care

Labor News

Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) visits a Fourth of July parade in Eastport, Maine, where her constituents wanted to talk about health care. “There was only one issue,” she said. (Murray Carpenter for The Washington Post)

Reprinted from The Washington Post by David Weigel on July 4, 2017.

For the 15th year, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) spent July 4 marching through this town of 1,331, a short boat ride away from Canada. She walked and waved, next to marching bands and Shriner-driven lobster boats. Her constituents cheered — and then asked whether she would vote against repealing the Affordable Care Act.

“There was only one issue. That’s unusual. It’s usually a wide range of issues,” Collins said in an interview after the parade. “I heard, over and over again, encouragement for my stand against the current version of the Senate and House health-care bills. People were thanking me, over and over again. ‘Thank you, Susan!’ ‘Stay strong, Susan!’ ”

Collins, whose opposition to the Better Care Reconciliation Act helped derail last week’s plans for a quick vote, is being lobbied to smother it and make Congress start over. Republicans, who skipped the usual committee process in the hopes of passing a bill quickly, are spending the Fourth of July recess fending off protesters, low poll numbers and newspaper front pages that warn of shuttered hospitals and 22 million people being shunted off their insurance. It was a bill, Collins said, that she just couldn’t vote for.

“If you took a blank sheet of paper and said, ‘How could we get a bill that would really hammer Maine,’ this would be it,” said Senator Angus King (I-Maine), who walked ahead of Collins in the parade. …

Washington Post 7/4

RELATED POSTS:  McCain’s Return to Senate Injects Momentum into GOP Health Care Battle
About Jeffrey Burman 5205 Articles
Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at jeffrey.s.burman.57@gmail.com.

Leave a Reply

UA-83546600-1 UA-145349484-1