Mainers need Sen. Susan Collins to save us from the Republican health care legislation that may be voted on in the Senate as soon as this week.

Like the House health care bill, the Senate version will slash funds to Medicaid (known as MaineCare here), resulting in permanent cuts to health care services for seniors, people with disabilities, and mothers and children.

Sen. Collins has always been a friend to senior citizens, so I ask her to consider the bill’s potentially devastating effect on Maine seniors. Like the Republican bill passed by the House in May, the Republican Senate bill would drastically cut Medicaid/MaineCare, which pays for two-thirds of long-term care in Maine, as well as in-home and nursing home care provided to thousands of low-income older Mainers.

Among the hundreds of groups opposing the House-passed version of the Republican plan are the AARP, the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging, the Maine Hospital Association, Consumers for Affordable Health Care, Planned Parenthood, the Maine Medical Association, the Maine Women’s Lobby, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and the National Disability Rights Network.

According to a June 14 analysis by The New York Times, 49 percent of Maine people oppose the Republican plan and only 30 percent support it. Those opposed probably realize that the bill will take away health coverage from thousands in order to pay for a tax cut ($765 billion over 10 years, by some estimates) for the highest-income Americans.

Sen. Collins, please oppose this bill.

Betsy Mahoney

Cumberland Foreside