Sen. Susan Collins seemed quite pleased with her decision to join Democrats in voting against the ‘skinny’ Obamacare repeal bill, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday that the welcome she received upon returning to Maine was “amazing.”
Collins said she greeted to a slow clap as she walked through the airport gates.
“It really was so extraordinary, heartwarming and affirming," she told Tapper on “State of the Union.” “I got off the plane, and there was a large group of outbound passengers, none of whom I happened to know, and spontaneously, some of them started applauding, and then virtually all of them started to applaud.”
“It was just amazing,” she added.
This is true: Susan Collins on our plane to Bangor, gets applause as she passes through Bangor airport waiting area. pic.twitter.com/a1s2QTpldd— BLCKDGRD (@BLCKDGRD) July 28, 2017
Tapper then asked if that was a typical greeting from constituents.
“I have never had that happen in 20 years that I have been privileged to serve in the Senate," she said. "So it was very encouraging and affirming, especially arriving back home after a very difficult time.”
Collins joined Republican colleagues Sens. Lisa Murkowski and John McCain in opposing the healthcare legislation.
“We need to go back to committee, to the Health Committee, and the Finance Committee, identify the problems, carefully evaluate possible solutions through hearings, and then produce a series of bills to correct these problems, the most serious of which is the pending collapse of the insurance markets,” she said of what needs to be done. “And I certainly hope the administration does not do anything in the meantime to hasten that collapse.”
After the developments on healthcare last week, President Trump threatened to end the insurance ‘bailouts.’
“If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” he said.
Collins, for her part, was unfazed by the threat.
“It would not affect my vote on healthcare, but it’s an example of why we need to act to make sure that those payments, which are not an insurance company bailout, but rather help people who are very low income afford their out of pocket costs toward their deductibles and their copays, so that’s what we need to remember,” she said.