Susan Collins: Senate to start ‘from scratch’ on health bill

GOP Sen. Collins says senators will "come up with a whole new fresh approach"

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

BRANCHBURG, N.J. (AP) —

7:10 p.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan acknowledges the Senate is likely to make changes to the GOP health overhaul plan passed by the House.

But he’s defending the House version anyway. He insists a bill the House passed to repeal and replace Barack Obama’s health care law provides sufficient coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Ryan says the House measure gives states flexibility to set up high-risk pools for the very sick so that no one is denied coverage.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, however, says she’s not so certain the House plan would protect people from higher costs. She says a high-risk pool in Maine worked only because it had a clear source of funding. Health analysts question whether the extra $8 billion the House bill provides over five years for high-risk pools will be enough.

Both spoke on ABC’s “This Week.”

11:55 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan insists a bill the House passed to repeal and replace Barack Obama’s health care law provides sufficient coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Ryan says the House measure gives states flexibility to set up high-risk pools for the very sick so that no one is denied coverage.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, however, says she’s not so certain the House plan would protect people from higher costs. She says a high-risk pool in Maine worked only because it had a clear source of funding. Health analysts question whether the extra $8 billion the House bill provides over five years for high-risk pools will be enough.

Ryan acknowledged the Senate is likely to make changes to the House bill.

Both spoke on ABC’s “This Week.”

___

11:10 a.m.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is expressing concerns about the bill passed by the House to replace the nation’s health care law and says she expects the Senate to start over “from scratch.”

Collins is a moderate senator whose vote will be important in the narrowly divided Senate. She says the House bill is hard to assess because it was passed without a fresh Congressional Budget Office analysis of coverage and cost.

Asked if she could support the House version, Collins says: “The House bill is not going to come before us.” She says senators will “come up with a whole new fresh approach.”

Collins cited concerns about potential higher costs to older Americans and those with pre-existing medical conditions.

She spoke on ABC’s “This Week.”