Sen. Susan Collins says 'Senate is starting from scratch' on health care bill

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, tells "This Week" the Senate will take a "fresh, new approach" to health care.
6:10 | 05/07/17

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Transcript for Sen. Susan Collins says 'Senate is starting from scratch' on health care bill
President trump is up and tweeting this morning. Just out a few moments ago, he said Republican senators will not let the American people down. Obamacare premiums and deductibles are way up. It was a lie. And it is dead. We're joined by senator Susan Collins from Maine. Thank you for joining thus morning. We just heard the president right there. You heard speaker Ryan as well. But you had serious concerns. You were against the original house bill. Is it fair to say you're against the amended one? I have a lot of concerns. It's difficult to assess the new house bill. Because we still don't have a cbo analysis of the impact of coverage and costs. And those are key questions. Those are the key questions. I mean, we heard Dr. Gawande weigh in on that, as well. You heard speaker Ryan right there. He says he's going to take care of those older, rural Americans who don't have the tax credits and will lose subsidies. He cited your state of Maine several times. Well, first of all, one of the problems with the house bill is that the tax credits are not adjusted for income or geographic region. That really hurts a state like Maine, where we have an older population living in largely more expensive, ral areas, as far as health care is concerned. I have heard a lot of talk about the Maine high-risk pool. Indeed, it was a success in Maine for the 18 months or so in which it operated before the passage of the ACA. And it can be part of the solution. But in Maine, we had definite revenue streams supporting the high-risk pool. And that is why it worked. In the house bill, it's really up to the states to come up with whatever option they wish. So that could work. It could be part of a solution. But the devil really is in the details. So do you agree with the speaker Ryan and president trump saying people with pree existing conditions are going have the same coverage right now, even better, speaker Ryan said, in some cases than under Obamacare? Think that's unlikely. So much discretion is given to the states without any guardrails. The different between that approach and the approach in the bill that senator Cassidy and I have introduced is we keep the ACA safeguards, the consumer protections, for people with pre-existing conditions. It's true that under the house bill, state that gets a waiver would still have to provide coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. But that coverage might well be unaffordable. And if the coverage is unaffordable, that doesn't do any good for a child who has juvenile diabetes and is going have that her entire life and once she's no longer on her parents' policy, sthat going to create problems in some states. If the house bill were before you today, would you be a yes? Well, first of all, the house bill is not going to come before us. The senate is starting from scratch. We're going to draft our own bill. I'm convinced that we're going to take the time to do it right. Speaker Ryan today said that he hoped that the senate would improve the house bill. I think we will do so and that we will come up with a whole new fresh approach that solves the legitimate flaws that do economiexist with the ACA. Where with have seen, in some markets, insurance is fleeing. It will keep some of the benefits of the ACA. My goal is to actually expand coverage for those 28 million Americans who still lack coverage today despite the ACA. A lot of people are struck by the working group put together in the senate to deal with health care. I'll put the picture up right there. 13 men. Not a single woman. Cecile Richards said when women are not at the table, we're on the menu. Patty Murray said, it's important to have women at the table. Why aren't you in the working group? Well, the leaders obviously chose the people they want. I'm working hard with senator Cassidy with our co-sponsors. Shelly Moore Capito, Johnny Isaacson. We're reaching out to moderate Democrats. I would like to see us put together a bipartisan group to solve this problem. Democrats who acknowledge that 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. There's an issue that no one is talking about in Washington that is so critical. And that is if we're going reduce the cost of health insurance, we have to take steps to reduce the costs of health care. And no one's talking about that. Senator Cass isidy and I have in our bill a transparency sex so you would actually know what you're paying. That would help consumers make better choice sflps can you support a final bill that denies medicaid funding to planned parenthood? That is an important issue to me because I don't think that low-income women should be denied their choice of health care providers. It's not the only issue in this huge bill. I think it's not fair and it is a mistake to defund planneded parenthood. It's one of many issues. Senator Collins, thank you for your time this morning. Thank you, George.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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