New York's Senators blast GOP health care bill, Collins amendment

Mar 23, 2017

The House is expected to vote Thursday on a Republican health care bill that repeals wholesale sections of the Affordable Care Act. New York's Senators are both blasting it. They take exception to an amendment co-sponsored by Congressman Chris Collins that cuts billions of dollars in federal aid while shifting county medicaid costs to the state level.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held separate conference calls this week in advance of the vote. 

Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer were critical of a Republican health care bill that includes a controversial amendment sponsored by Congressman Chris Collins.
Credit WBFO file photos

"I think the Collins amendment is disgraceful," said Gillibrand during her telephone session. "It basically cuts two billion dollars out of Medicaid funding that New York State would receive. That is a horrible amendment for our state."

Supporters of the Collins amendment says it will bring relief to county taxpayers. Critics suggest it's an attempt to coax votes from Upstate Republicans for the GOP's overall health care bill. 

Schumer says one way or another, the taxpayers will foot the bill for money lost to the proposed cuts.

"What our Republican congressional delegation should be doing is not pointing fingers at who should bear these cuts, because it ultimately will be New York taxpayers and New York citizens, but solve the problem and get rid of these cuts," Schumer said.

WBFO contacted the office of Congressman Collins on Wednesday, but he was not readily available for comment.

Gillibrand suggested that if the GOP bill does pass the House, it will stall in the Senate.

"Amendments like this isn't going to help it," she said.