Sen. King blasts health care repeal bill while Rep. Poliquin continues to hide

Sen. King blasts health care repeal bill while Rep. Poliquin continues to hide

With a vote on the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act scheduled in the House tomorrow, clear divisions are showing in Maine’s congressional delegation. While Rep. Chellie Pingree, along with all House Democrats, is a hard no on the plan to strip away health coverage from tens of millions of Americans, Rep. Bruce Poliquin continues to refuse to say where he stands.

Poliquin praised the American Health Care Act when it was introduced last month, but since then has gone to incredible lengths to avoid saying where he stands on the amended legislation. Slate published a report on Tuesday of him ducking into bathrooms and scurrying away wearing earbuds in order to avoid reporters’ questions.

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Poliquin obviously doesn’t want to disappoint House Republican leadership and President Donald Trump, but he is also apparently sensitive to announcing publicly that he still supports a law that would be so devastating for constituents in his district. The repeal bill would mean dramatically increased premiums and loss of care for older Americans and those living in rural areas, like Maine’s Second District, and as the AARP and other health care and senior advocates have noted, the recent changes made a bad bill even worse.

Senator Angus King, meanwhile, has made his position perfectly plain. In a video he posted to Facebook on Wednesday night, King┬ácalled Republican claims of support for Americans with pre-existing conditions “a smoke screen” and described the legislation as “shift and shaft that’s going to cost Maine people their health insurance.”

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