With 4,000 letters to Sen. Collins, Mainers remain vigilant to protect health care

With 4,000 letters to Sen. Collins, Mainers remain vigilant to protect health care

A Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act may have failed in the House last week, but health care activists with the Maine People’s Alliance aren’t taking any chances. They delivered nearly 4,000 personal messages from individuals across the state to the Portland office of Senator Susan Collins on Monday, asking her to continue to stand with her constituents and publicly oppose any attempts to undermine the Affordable Care Act.

“We’re here today to make sure Sen. Collins knows that we’re watching and expect her to continue to put the interests of Maine families first when it comes to health care,” said Katie Sherman, a mother from Buxton who has relied on insurance from the health care marketplace for herself and her daughter, who has a pre-existing condition. “Under the Republican plan, my daughter could have been denied access to care. I’m grateful that this plan didn’t go anywhere, but I’m still worried about what could come next and what it means for my family.”

The delivery follows the final collapse of a health care repeal proposal advanced by President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan. The bill was pulled from consideration on Friday due to opposition from within the Republican caucus. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) was expected to increase the number of people without health insurance by 24 million in 2026, and cost 14 million people their insurance next year alone. Many of those who will lose their insurance are covered by Medicaid, which the AHCA would cut by $880 billion.

New attempts to undermine the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, Medicare and access to reproductive health care for women are all likely still on the horizon. Ryan told political donors yesterday that he will soon be advancing a new plan on health care and the Trump administration could do much to undermine health care programs through executive orders, HHS regulatory changes or government inaction.

“Even though the AHCA is no longer a threat, we remain on guard against any proposals that could come from Congress or the Trump administration that would cut health care for Mainers,” said Andrew Francis of MPA. “These messages are proof that Mainers care deeply about protecting access to health care. It should be a signal to our lawmakers that there is no going backwards when it comes to comes to health care for Maine families.”

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