GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine predicted Friday’s decision striking down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be overturned on appeal and criticized the sweep of the decision.
Speaking Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, Collins said that the ruling went too far, even if the individual mandate is unconstitutional.
“There’s no reason why the individual mandate provision can’t be struck down and keep all of the good provisions of the Affordable Care Act such as coverage for people with preexisting conditions, the mandated benefits for substance abuse and mental illness treatment, and allowing young people to stay on their parent’s policies until age 26,” Senator Collins said.
“I think this will be overturned on appeal,” Collins added elsewhere in the interview. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has a conservative tilt, will review Friday’s decision. The case may ultimately reach the Supreme Court.
U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor found that individual mandate was unconstitutional, then struck down the Affordable Care Act in full. O’Connor reasoned that the mandate is integral to the structure of the law and could not be severed without destroying the entirety of Obamacare, warranting the statute’s demise.
Elsewhere in the interview, Collins said that the individual mandate disproportionately affected lower and middle-income families, since 80 percent of households who pay the penalty earn less than $50,000. The senator joined other Republicans in voting to repeal the individual mandate during the December 2017 tax overhaul.
For his part, President Donald Trump praised Friday’s decision. White House aide Stephen Miller, speaking Sunday on Face the Nation, said the administration believes O’Connor’s decision will ultimately be upheld in the Supreme Court.
Five of the justices who upheld Obamacare in 2012 and again in 2015 are still serving on the high court.
WATCH Susan Collins on Friday’s Obamacare decision:
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