Susan Collins’ should not be surprised or puzzled by the strong, negative reaction to her vote on the Senate tax bill, as she indicated she was in a recent interview.

She is right that health care issues should not be included in this bill, but since they are, she has fought hard to make it better for Mainers.

But it will never be better for Mainers because no amount of tinkering with insurance markets or playing around with deductions will disguise the fact that this bill is a money-grab by the rich, pure and simple – and a bone to donors so she can stay in business. No matter how you dress it up, people see through the sham and the shell game that is being played here.

In playing this game, she also casts a de facto vote for repealing the Affordable Care Act by supporting elimination of the individual mandate, a critical feature without which the ACA will not survive.

Her amendments to the bill thus amount to a specious, self-serving rationale for aligning with McConnell, Ryan and Trump in their bid to placate donors, superseding her obligation to deal honestly with this bill on behalf of Mainers.

The non-binding promises from her party leaders are a smokescreen for her failure to represent Maine voters in her here-to-fore honorable manner.

Senator Collins is now out of business in Maine for not using her awesome power to singlehandedly stall the bill until her party could get it right with a fair distribution of benefits, not a tax relief act for rich donors nor a sleight-of-hand retraction of the ACA.

Jane Card