The list of problems with the Senate tax “reform” bill seems never-ending. But there are five reasons why Sen. Susan Collins, in particular, cannot in good conscience vote for it:

1. Health care premiums will rise every year for many people – so much so that the higher premiums will eliminate the temporary tax savings they would otherwise receive.

2. The number of uninsured Americans would rise, and tremendous uncertainty would be created in the insurance markets – leading to reduced choice, even higher premiums, etc.

3. The bill would slash Medicare by $25 billion nationally and by $120 million in Maine alone.

4. The bill has no support from Democrats, and no Democrats were allowed to have input into the bill when it was being written and rewritten. There is zero bipartisanship on a massive piece of legislation that affects every single American.

5. The bill is being fast-tracked, without following the Senate’s so-called regular order – there will be no committee hearings with input from experts on a bill that affects all of us. The Senate Finance Committee is expected to take less than 72 hours to advance the bill, on a strictly party-line vote. By comparison, there were hundreds of hours of hearings back in 1986, when tax reform was last tackled.

Why single out these five points? Because these are the exact reasons Sen. Collins gave for voting “no” on the Republican health care bill back in July – the exact reasons! Everything that she herself told Mainers led her to vote “no” on health care repeal is present in this tax bill.

If she meant what she said in July, then she cannot possibly vote for this tax bill. It’s called “walking your talk” – and it’s something Sen. Collins owes to her constituents.

Mark Klimek

South Portland