Despite hailing herself a champion of Maine seniors, Sen. Susan Collins has repeatedly voted for Republican legislation that would have slashed funding for Medicare benefits and against multiple proposals to protect or expand Social Security funding.
According to a review by American Ledger, between 1997 and 2017 Collins voted at least eight separate times for GOP budgets that attempted to slash funding for Medicare.
AARP has previously criticized nearly all the legislation Collins voted for that would have made steep cuts to Medicare, including Collins’ vote for the “Cut, Cap and Balance” plan that would have necessitated deep cuts to Medicare and Social Security. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities called this legislation “one of the most ideologically extreme pieces of major budget legislation to come before Congress in years.”
In 2018 over 330,000 — nearly a quarter of Maine’s population — Mainers were enrolled in Medicare. Maine has the second highest percentage of residents aged 65+ in the nation.
Collins’ record on protecting or expanding Social Security isn’t better.
In 2000, Collins was one of only 16 Senators who voted to raid surplus Social Security trust fund resources in order to reduce the federal debt; in 2001 Collins voted against legislation to establish permanent protections guarding Social Security funding from being slashed in budget negotiations; in 2015 Collins voted against legislation to expand Social Security benefits; and as recently as 2017, Collins voted against allocating $1.36 billion to fund the Social Security Administration’s efforts to improve its services for senior Americans.
More than 335,000 Mainers were Social Security beneficiaries in 2017, receiving more than $400 million in monthly benefits.