SCARBOROUGH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Maine’s two U.S. Senators say they hope next week’s planned Senate health care vote fails, so a new, bipartisan effort can begin.
Senators Susan Collins and Angus King were both meeting with medical groups in Maine on Friday, and said the latest effort by Senate GOP leaders is being handled poorly. That plan will reportedly be brought to a vote next week, but so far the party leaders haven't revealed what it is, or whether it will be an effort to simply repeal the ObanaCare law, or include a new replacement health care plan.
Republican Senator Susan Collins visited the Maine Medical Center Research Institute. Friday to celebrate a $20 million dollar federal research grant she helped them win.
She said the Senate needs to start over, hold full public hearings and include both parties in the planning
"I am actually optimistic we are going to come together," said Collins. "And I’m already talking to Democrats and Republicans about what are the next steps?"
Independent Sen. Angus King, who caucuses with Democrats, echoed Collins' view during a meeting with health care providers and activists in Portland. He called the GOP leadership approach "outrageous," and said the parties need to find a way to work together.
"OK there’s 20 percent we disagree on and about 80 percent we agree on. Let’s focus on the 80, put the other aside and get something done for the American people," King said.
Collins said there are serious problems with health insurance under the existing ACA. She said Congress cannot ignore the problems, and hopes they can find some way to bridge the difference .
The only way to do this effectively and prevent the utter collapse of insurance markets is if we come together in a bipartisan way and produce a bill, we cant just step back and let the crisis continue.