Augusta, MAINE – The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) today released a letter that repudiates Senator Collins’ recent argument that passing the Murray-Alexander stabilization bill will help mitigate the impact of repealing the individual mandate. The CBO’s analysis also comes in the wake of a review by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that also disproves Senator Collins’ statements.

        “If legislation were enacted that incorporated both the provisions of the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act and a repeal of the individual mandate, the agencies expect that the interaction among the provisions would be small; the effects on premiums and the number of people with health insurance coverage would be similar to those referenced above,” wrote CBO Director Kevin Hall.

Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett released the following statement in response:

        “Senator Collins has tried to make the best out of a bad situation, but the truth is – as several analyses, now including the CBO, show – she is wrong when it comes to the deal she struck with Trump. We hope that she will heed the words of the nonpartisan CBO and abandon this backroom agreement she made with the President to repeal the individual mandate and push the GOP tax giveaway over the finish line. Working Maine families will get hit with higher health care costs and, in the long run, higher taxes if she doesn’t. We continue to urge her to oppose the Republican tax bill and, instead, work with Democrats to advance bipartisan and pro-middle class tax reform and health care improvements.”

Senator Collins yesterday appeared to strike a backroom deal with President Donald Trump to secure her potentially tie-breaking support for the Republican tax bill that gives massive tax breaks to millionaires, billionaires, and giant corporations at the expense of middle class Mainers.

In exchange for her vote, Senator Collins looks to have secured promises from the President that he would support the Alexander-Murray bill to stabilize the health insurance market, as well as a reinsurance proposal that she has introduced. These two bills, Senator Collins argued today, would “mitigate” the impact of repealing the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that everyone purchase health insurance.

However, both CBO and CBPP have now disproven her argument. CBO has previously estimated that repealing the mandate would cause 13 million people to become uninsured, which is also in line with estimates from the Urban Institute and RAND. The CBO also concludes that there’s no doubt that “the number of uninsured people would be millions higher.” 

Additionally, the Maine Center for Economic Policy today also released an analysis outlining how the tax bill will hurt Maine seniors.

Meanwhile, Senator Collins support for the GOP tax bill may help push it over the finish line – despite multiple independent, nonpartisan analyses showing that the bill would substantially benefit the wealthy and even raise taxes on middle class Maine families:

  • The Congressional Budget Office found that the Senate GOP tax bill, starting in 2019, would leave Americans earning less than $30,000 a year worse off than they are today. And by 2027, most Americans earning under $75,000 a year would pay more in taxes than they do today. In stark contrast, millionaires and billionaires would be better off under the Senate GOP tax bill than they are today.
  • The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimated that half of American households, and notably 60 percent of middle-class families, would face a tax hike starting in 2027. And the Joint Committee on Taxation showed that, on average, all taxpayers earning $75,000 or less would end up paying more in taxes by 2027 – while American households earning $1 million or more would pay $5.6 billion less in taxes.

On top of this, the Senate GOP tax bill would blow a $1.5 trillion hole in our country’s deficit – allowing Republicans to follow the same “Starve The Beast” playbook they used after the ‘01/’03 Bush tax cuts, where they: 1) pass huge tax breaks claiming they’ll pay for themselves and then 2) use the resulting huge deficits to justify deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other benefits vital to middle-class Americans.

Despite Republicans’ claims that the supposed economic growth their tax bill would generate would pay for their proposed tax giveaways for the rich, 37 out of 38 economists surveyed by the University of Chicago responded that it would not – the resulting debt from the Trump-Republican tax plan would substantially grow faster than our country’s economy.

Furthermore, a recent poll of 400 registered Maine voters found that a stunning 53 percent disapprove of the Republican tax plan while only 22 percent approve of it.