The American Health Care Act is in the news and no wonder. According to the Congressional Budget Office, this untenable legislation will leave 23 million Americans without insurance. In addition, there are provisions in the bill that are nothing short of alarming, particularly for older adults with pre-existing conditions.

Simply put, the AHCA puts insurance companies in the driver’s seat. If this bill passes without changes, insurers will be able to charge people more if they have a pre-existing condition. What that means is that if a person who has a heart murmur, or any type of cancer, diabetes, hepatitis, high blood pressure, asthma, etc., will be penalized. This is a health care plan that punishes anyone for being sick.

However, people don’t need to have a pre-existing condition to be penalized through the AHCA. Those people over the age of 50 will get slapped with a tax through this plan because of their age. The AHCA also discriminates against older adults by allowing insurance companies to charge an older adult more for the same exact coverage they would charge a younger person.

A health plan that embraces age discrimination is surely not what is needed.

I’ll be calling Sen. Susan Collins to ask her to please oppose this awful bill. Mainers deserve better.

Joseph DeFilipp, Auburn

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