U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and two other Senate Republicans said Tuesday they would not support Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, without a replacement plan in place, effectively killing it.

In a statement Tuesday morning, Collins said she had voted no in 2015, when Senate Republicans also voted to repeal Obamacare, without an immediate replacement.

“I do not think that it’s going to be constructive to repeal a law that at this point is so interwoven within our health care system and then hope that over the next two years we will come up with some kind of replacement,” she said.

“I think that would create great anxiety for individuals who rely on the ACA. I believe it would cause the insurance markets to go into turmoil. And I don’t think it is the right way to proceed.”

McConnell had proposed bringing back the health care bill that passed the House, for Senate consideration, that calls for a full repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay of implementation.

However, Collins was joined by fellow Republicans Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Shelley Moore Capito, R-West Virginia, in voting no on the “repeal and delay” bill, essentially killing McConnell’s proposal. McConnell could afford to lose only two Republican votes to pass the repeal effort, since every Democrat and two independents in the Senate were opposed.

After the three Republicans, all women, announced their no votes, Maine independent Sen. Angus King called on Congress to work together to improve the ACA.

“The events of the last couple of days around here with regard to health care have given us a real opportunity to do something together on a bipartisan basis – to improve the present health care delivery system in this country,” he said in a statement.

He suggested starting with lowering the cost of prescription drugs to make health care more affordable.

“What I hope we can do is put aside the ideology, put aside ‘you know, we got to check a box on repealing or replacing’, and let’s talk about how we can work together to improve the health care system, make it more accessible, and more cost effective – or another way to say that is – less expensive for the American peoplem” he said.

Collins, in her statement opposing “repeal and delay,” called for hearings to fix problems in the ACA.

filed under: