The House Republicans’ recent passage of a health care bill (“Trumpcare”) without waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to evaluate it was an egregious flaunting of the grave responsibilities Congressmen have to their constituents and to their country.

Rep. Bruce Poliquin, was one of them. He should be ashamed.

The GOP bill would take $880 billion out of Medicaid and another $312 billion out of subsidies that help working families buy private coverage through the “Obamacare” exchanges. Instead of helping people get care, this money would be diverted to give an $800 billion tax-break windfall to people with incomes above $200,000 and to big insurance and drug companies. The rest of the people would get virtually no relief.

Here, in Rep. Poliquin’s district, 312,500 individuals with employer-sponsored health insurance are at risk of losing the prohibition of annual and lifetime limits, and pre-existing condition exclusions might come roaring back. Some 36,000 individuals stand to lose all coverage if the ACA insurance marketplace is dismantled. Hospitals, especially small hospitals, will come under great stress when more uninsured patients show up at their doors. Some hospitals might be forced to close.

Obamacare is admittedly flawed, but it was the best plan President Obama could get out of a Congress intent on preserving the wealth of the rich.

Trumpcare is much worse.

Instead of Trumpcare, Congress should consider Rep. John Conyers bill (HR 676), “Medicare for All.” If passed, it would put the U.S. back in the civilized world where health care is concerned.

Ben Lounsbury, Auburn

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