In 2017, a tumor grew near my brain stem. I needed a 10-hour neurosurgery procedure and relied for insurance on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As the Republican effort to repeal the ACA repeal was looming in the Senate, I left panicked messages for Sen. Susan Collins, who had voted multiple times against the ACA.

With millions of lives at stake, three Republican senators, including Sen. Collins, voted with the Democrats against repeal. But in the next, less public, Republican attack on health care, Sen. Collins failed us. In the 2017 tax bill, she voted for a seemingly popular partial repeal that was actually dastardly underneath: It became the basis of a cruel Republican lawsuit claiming that the entire ACA should be struck down. The lawsuit seeks to nullify protections for pre-existing conditions, Medicaid expansion, subsidies in the healthcare marketplace, parental coverage for kids up to 26, help for senior drug coverage and more. Millions now wait anxiously for the Supreme Court to hear the case in November.

Compare U.S. Senate candidate Sara Gideon. No panicking about her health care vote! In the Maine House, Sara passed legislation that protects for Maine much of what other states could lose in the lawsuit, including pre-existing condition protections. She expanded Medicaid to approximately 60,000 Mainers, and capped the price of insulin. As a Senate candidate, she has proposed big ACA improvements to lead us to universal affordable coverage.

With this pandemic, elect someone we can trust on health care: Sara Gideon.

Mary Henderson

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