U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is spearheading an effort with four other Republican senators to delay the process currently underway in the Senate that could potentially end with repealing the Affordable Care Act.

The Senate is currently undertaking a complicated “budget reconciliation” process that could strip out the funding for the ACA. The amendment supported by Collins puts off a key part of the process – language drafted by committees that would craft the details of what an ACA repeal would look like – from Jan. 27 to March 3.

Meanwhile, Democrats – including independent Maine Sen. Angus King – held an overnight “talk-a-thon” on the Senate floor Monday night to try to save the ACA, President Barack Obama’s signature health care law that has resulted in more than 20 million more people insured and a drop in the uninsured rate.

Collins has said that she prefers that Congress have a replacement plan in hand before Congress votes to repeal the ACA, and she also says she doesn’t want people to lose their health care coverage through the ACA. About 80,000 Mainers have health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s individual marketplace.

The individual marketplace is designed for those without employer-based coverage – such as self-employed lobstermen – to obtain subsidized insurance.

Even if Congress votes to delay implementation of the repeal for two to three years, experts say the individual insurance markets that keep the ACA functioning would be in danger of collapsing without another plan in place.

“Repeal and replacement is a complicated task, and my number one concern is that we not create a gap in coverage for individuals who are currently insured and who rely on that coverage. By providing more time to come up with legislative solutions, we have a better opportunity to produce a thoughtful, workable replacement that ensures Americans have access to affordable, diverse insurance plans that meet their needs.” Collins said in a statement today.

Joining Collins were Republican Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee, Rob Portman of Ohio, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

King, during his overnight Senate floor speech, referred to the idea that Congress would repeal without a substantial replacement “repeal and chaos.” He talked about how his life was saved in 1974 by having health insurance and getting preventive care that detected a form of aggressive skin cancer.

“For the life of me, I cannot figure out why anyone would want to take health insurance away from millions of people. It is a death sentence for some significant percentage of those people,” King said during his Senate speech. “Let’s slow down, and talk about how to fix it, how to change it, how to replace it.”

This story will be updated

Comments are not available on this story.