One thing that’s encouraging about the health care program proposed by Speaker Paul Ryan and forwarded by the House, is that it’s been proclaimed un-passable by Senate Republicans of integrity. While not a fan of the Republican agenda or philosophy, it’s still heartening to see there are some GOP politicians who put people’s needs ahead of party.

In his thoughtful and measured letter of May 30, Dr. William Phillips wrote that the AHCA bill, opposed by the AARP and the American Medical Association, but supported by insurance companies, “repeals a 0.9 percent payroll tax on higher incomes over 10 years from the hospital insurance trust fund, hastening the insolvency of Medicare.”

It bears repeating: “Hastening the insolvency of Medicare.”

He goes on, “Further, the act allows insurance companies to charge older people five times or more than others pay for the same coverage.” I wonder how many AARP members (and there are many I’m sure) who voted the new administration into power not realizing this could be their agenda, built on a core belief in their privileged right of superiority over the less fortunate, the less gifted, the poor. The Gospels, and especially the Sermon on the Mount, soar above that assumed sense of privilege.

No, the silver lining in this bill is not so much that it’s dead, as that it reveals the shameful assault on the elderly, on everyone but the one-percent — and their self-enriching agenda — that much, though not all, of today’s Republican leadership is built upon.

Paul Baribault, Lewiston


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