Sen. Susan Collins voted in favor of the Trump tax reform act that took effect in 2018. That tax bill included a provision that included rescinding the individual mandate from the Affordable Care Act (i.e., the ACA – or Obamacare).

In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled, in response to consistent Republican lawsuits to kill the ACA, that Obamacare was legal as long as the individual mandate remained in place. In 2017, the Republican-controlled Senate removed this provision as part of Donald Trump’s tax bill.

With the individual health care mandate now optional, the 2018 tax law provision is being used by Republican activists to challenge the constitutionality of the ACA in the courts. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has heard a case to strike down the ACA and will make judgment soon.

Susan Collins voted to confirm Kurt Engelhardt, a 5th Circuit judge who has appeared sympathetic to those challenging the ACA, as well as for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. If the 5th Circuit rules that rescinding the mandate makes Obamacare unconstitutional, Sen. Collins’ vote is responsible for undermining universal health care in this country.

If the issue goes to the Supreme Court, and the court reverses its previous ruling, Sen. Collins is responsible for undermining universal health care in this country. She says she opposes the Trump decision not to defend the health care law in court, but her actions speak louder than her words.

Brent Hawkes

Bangor


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