To the Editor:
What a proud day for Maine. On behalf of AARP’s nearly 230,000 Maine members, all Mainers over 50 and their families, I want to express sincere gratitude to our two U.S. senators for their steadfast opposition to the poorly conceived attempts to increase costs and scale back health care coverage for millions of us.
Sen. Susan Collins was subjected to relentless pressure but resolutely reaffirmed her support for her constituents’ best interests: to oppose the proposed age tax, rollbacks of essential Medicaid coverage, reduced insurance coverage for millions of Americans and the process by which the Senate repeal-and-replace bills were cobbled together. Throughout the grueling months, Collins engaged directly with constituents, listening carefully to their concerns. She voted in exactly the way she was asked to vote.
Sen. Angus King consistently opposed all the iterations of the now-failed legislation. He, too, engaged with literally thousands of Mainers on this subject. In addition to recognizing the onerous impact on the health security of the people of Maine, including hidden impacts on both Medicare and private insurance beneficiaries, King recognized the potential economic impact on Maine’s rural health care delivery system.
Both senators understood that rural hospitals and nursing homes could have been forced to close, further restricting access to health care.
With enormous pride and gratitude, we extend our thanks to two of the most stalwart members of the U.S. Senate. Now, we must work together in an open, bipartisan process to address ongoing health care access and cost issues that impact Mainers of all ages.