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Senators Collins and Cassidy Present Obamacare Alternative

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) presented their proposal for a replacement to the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, on MSNBC Tuesday.

Host Chuck Todd described the plan as: “If you like Obamacare, you can keep it,” a charactarization that Collins agreed with.

“If you look at the Obamacare exchanges across the country, a lot of them are in a death spiral. We’ve seen double-digit, even triple-digit increases in premiums, co-pays, deductibles, insurers fleeing the market… But we recognize that there are some states where Obamacare may be the right answer for the citizens. So why not allow those states to keep it if they like it, and then we propose an alternative which we believe is a better choice for most states,” Collins said.

Collins and Cassidy also indicated a desire to provide extra incentives and “flexibility” to the states so that they would expand Medicaid to cover the 30 million uninsured in the United States.

Cassidy pushed back on the idea that Medicaid would be the new Medicare. “I personally don’t want those Medicaid rules expanded… because the Medicaid rules that come out of Washington, D.C. are often very cumbersome to address, it drives up cost, and it limits what states can do, and it ends up costing the states more.”

Collins also denied that their plan would keep all the taxes that Obamacare put in place. “Some of the taxes under Obamacare actually increased the cost of health care and I don’t think that makes a lot of sense,” Collins said.

Throughout the interview, Collins and Cassidy made it clear that the objective of their plan was to return power over health care back to state governments.