Sen. Angus King joined 48 other senators in signing a letter Wednesday that calls on President Trump to condemn a recent ruling by a Texas judge declaring the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.

King, an independent, 47 Democratic senators and one other independent asked Trump to suspend the ruling, which they contend could potentially leave 20 million Americans without health insurance and millions of families across the country facing higher healthcare costs.

“It is not too late for you to condemn this decision by requesting a stay and taking steps to defend the Affordable Care Act moving forward,” the senators said in a statement Wednesday evening. “The ACA is, quite simply, the law of the land, and it is your Administration’s duty to defend it.”

The senators said that repealing the ACA without a replacement plan would be “devastating” to American families and the economy.

Maine’s Republican Sen. Susan Collins did not sign the letter. King usually caucuses with Democrats.

“The Texas judge’s ruling was far too sweeping,” Collins said in a statement Wednesday evening. “He could have taken a much more surgical approach and struck down the (individual) mandate while keeping the rest of the law intact. I think it will likely be overturned on appeal.”

Collins said the ACA contains “many good provisions” and those should be retained. She also said there is widespread, bipartisan support for protections for pre-existing conditions, and “Mainers with pre-existing conditions are also protected by state law.”

“We didn’t sign the letter because we didn’t want people in Maine and across the country to unnecessarily fear that they would lose coverage for their pre-existing conditions if a stay were not granted,” said Annie Clark, Collins’ spokesperson.


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