Like many Mainers, this week I received a notice from Harvard Pilgrim that in 2018, one of two things would happen: My family’s health care premium would go up about 40 percent, or the insurer might withdraw from the Affordable Care Act marketplace altogether. Chaos and uncertainty resulting from Republican mishandling of the ACA repeal and replacement is driving this.

Insurers had until June 1 to register intent to adjust premiums for next year. With that date having come and gone without clarity on what the Republican leadership was doing, insurers are running for cover and are either raising rates to an unprecedented degree or leaving the ACA marketplace completely. As a result, some states now face the possibility of having no options for coverage.

Perhaps a cynical Republican leadership hoped that the public would merely perceive it as the ACA collapsing under its own weight.

The cynicism is all the greater if one considers that the ACA was fundamentally a Republican concept hatched by conservative economists at the Heritage Foundation. Their plan, which was successfully adopted by then-Gov. Mitt Romney in Massachusetts, paved the way for what became known as Obamacare.

Popular with a majority of Americans, the ACA might need tweaks, but it doesn’t need an overhaul that will leave millions of Americans in free fall in order to give tax cuts to the rich. Nor do we need 13 men working in private to draft an overhaul that allows for no hearings, let alone time for the Congressional Budget Office to weigh in on how many millions of Americans will lose their health insurance.

We need Sen. Susan Collins to be more than merely “disturbed” about the hijacking of our health care.

Wayne Beach

Phippsburg