As I write, Senate Republicans are meeting behind closed doors to draft a health care bill that will likely include the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, huge tax breaks for the richest Americans and the reduction or elimination of subsidies, which have enabled millions of low-income people to sign up for health insurance.

Shamefully, there will almost certainly be no informed public debate on this bill. The Republican majority has already taken steps to permit consideration of the bill without committee hearings or votes, so that the bill might possibly be considered in as little as a few hours after it is presented to senators.

That is exactly what the Senate Republican caucus wants. They know what they are doing will not withstand scrutiny or public discussion. They do not want to hear what Democratic senators, health care professionals, independent observers or their own constituents have to say.

That is not how democracy is supposed to work, and the public should not stand for it.

Rep. Bruce Poliquin has already cast a disgraceful vote in favor of a House bill that would cause 23 million Americans (including thousands of Mainers) to lose their health insurance. Sen. Susan Collins should not make the same mistake by voting for another bill, drafted in secrecy and pushed through the Senate without public discussion or debate, that would give money to the rich and weaken health care for the most vulnerable. If she does, voters should hold her accountable.

Daniel Gunn, New Sharon


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