In February, I wrote a letter to the editor about my meeting with Sen. Susan Collins in Washington, where I talked about the dramatic impact that the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid have had on my family, and the many concerns I had about the American Health Care Act, which the House of Representatives passed in May.

Sen. Collins graciously listened as I told her about my son, Sam, who was born with life-threatening medical problems, and how we incurred $100,000 in medical bills in just his first month of life.

When Sam was born, my husband and I were self-employed as small-business owners and would have been without health insurance if it were not for Obamacare. Because of the care he received as an infant through the ACA, and then Medicaid, Sam is a happy and healthy 2-year-old.

But when we talked, Sen. Collins also made commitments. She explained what an ACA replacement bill would need to include to gain her support. And the Senate health care bill does not match up.

She said that she planned to guarantee coverage for pre-existing conditions, to prohibit lifetime caps and to make sure no one is discriminated against because of their age, gender or other circumstances. The Senate health care bill doesn’t do a single one of these things, and it even goes further in cutting Medicaid. And she didn’t mention any deals or trade-offs that she’d be willing to make, merely that these principles had to be met.

She looked directly at me and promised to make sure my family isn’t hung out to dry. Sen. Collins has always tried to do her best for the people of Maine, and we need her to continue to look out for us now.

Alyce Ornella