Let me get this straight: President Trump has ordered essential workers, particularly those working in high-risk food processing plants, to return to work. If they refuse, they will be ineligible for unemployment benefits, including health coverage at a time when they need it the most. This is one of the most unconscionable and cruel actions of the Trump administration.

Instead of protecting workers and their health, Republicans in Congress, including Sen. Susan Collins, are exacerbating this unfair and inequitable system by continuing to push for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

When Collins supported the GOP tax giveaway in 2017, she also voted to eliminate the ACA’s individual mandate. This change, of course, prompted the GOP to take legal action to invalidate the ACA. Collins’s fingerprints are here. If the Supreme Court overturns the ACA, how many Mainers will become uninsured during this pandemic? One estimate (Urban Institute) indicates that the increase will be 164%.

On May 6, President Trump repeated his rallying cry to overturn the ACA. In the middle of this pandemic, this reaches a level of cruelty unsurpassed by any president and his political party. Most likely, Senator Collins will state that all of this is out of her hands and now it’s up to the Supreme Court to decide. However, let’s not forget that her actions have enabled this situation. Does Collins deserve to be re-elected in November?

I think not.

Beth Schultz