I am a self-employed classical musician, born and bred in this great state of Maine. I left our beautiful state directly after high school to further my education while gaining invaluable experience. I eventually moved to Europe to pursue my career. I walked the streets of my late mentors and made music in awe-inspiring structures.

While living in Europe, I did not worry about getting sick, because I could walk into any doctors’ office for help. I was covered. Eventually, I returned to the States, where I went back to school, earning a Ph.D. after much hard work, sweat and tears. The university provided health insurance as part of my compensation. I did not worry about getting sick. I was covered.

Once out of school, however, even with all of my passion, training and degrees, I could not afford health insurance. I lived in fear of becoming ill and took every possible precaution – training both body and mind to ward off disease.

Then the unthinkable happened: In 2015, I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. Thankfully, I had just qualified for the Affordable Care Act, as without it, my final bill would have been well over $100,000. I owe my life to those who made the ACA a reality, like President Obama. Without it my life would look very different, were I even here at all, as there would be no way I could have managed such a medical expense.

Due to the haste to get Brett Kavanaugh confirmed, we are missing so many essential details of his agenda. I fear his priorities are not in line with those of most of Sen. Susan Collins’ constituents, and certainly do not represent those of most Americans. Please, for the greater good, she should not vote for Brett Kavanaugh.

Jennifer Bates


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