In last night’s fifth and final debate in Maine’s U.S. Senate race, Senator Collins wasted no time getting to her latest round of desperate and misleading attacks. Collins used her opening statement to sling a series of blatantly false attacks in a flailing attempt to distract from her own record of voting to eliminate Mainers’ health care.


Let’s take a closer look at how Collins parroted pharma and insurance industry propaganda and claims that have been debunked by independent fact checkers:


COLLINS’ FALSE CLAIM: “[Sara Gideon] supported the original version of the ACA, that cut Medicare by $500 billion.”


REALITY: Senator Collins had to dig pretty deep in the trash heap of debunked Republican talking points to find this dud. All the way back in 2011, PolitiFact rated this claim “False” and pointed out that according to experts, “nowhere in the bill are benefits actually eliminated.” 


COLLINS’ FALSE CLAIM: “[Sara Gideon’s] health care plan could cause nearly half of Maine’s hospitals to close.”


REALITY: Here, Senator Collins is once again parroting propaganda from the pharmaceutical and insurance industries—the only study that supports what she is claiming was "funded by several of the most influential lobbying groups." After accepting more than $1.7 million from the drug and insurance industry, Senator Collins has been reduced to parroting false talking points from the industry to mislead Mainers about health care.


In fact, it’s Senator Collins who poses the greatest threat to Maine’s rural hospitals. Medicaid expansion has been a financial lifeline to providers across the state and has helped Mainers in every county get access to care, but thanks to Senator Collins’ vote for the GOP tax bill, MaineCare expansion could be wiped out by her party’s lawsuit to strike down the Affordable Care Act.


COLLINS’ FALSE CLAIM: “I do not know a single senator who supports taking away coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.”

REALITY: This one is just laughably false. Not only did Senator Collins herself vote seven times to repeal the entire Affordable Care Act, including its protections for people with pre-existing conditions, but her entire caucus has supported efforts to eliminate those coverage protections. In just the last six months, Senator Collins’ Republican Senate colleagues John Cornyn, Steve Daines, Cory Gardner, Martha McSally, and David Perdue have all been called out by independent fact checkers for voting to eliminate protections pre-existing conditions—and then lying about it.