Maine’s senior senator, Susan Collins, is expected to be a key vote in determining whether Judge Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. As a senior citizen, I would urge Sen. Collins, in the strongest possible terms, to reject his nomination, because Judge Kavanaugh is a threat to the health and retirement security of the 267,000 Maine residents over the age of 65.

As a judge, Brett Kavanaugh has repeatedly favored wealthy corporate interests over working Americans. He has also argued against protections for people with pre-existing health conditions contained in the Affordable Care Act. In fact, when testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee recently, he declined to say whether he would vote to uphold protections for patients with pre-existing conditions. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, announced in the hearing that Kavanaugh refused to address the issue in a private meeting as well.

Eighty-four percent of people between the ages of 55 to 64 have at least one pre-existing health condition, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Without the ACA’s protections, it would be nearly impossible for those people to obtain affordable insurance in the individual market if the ACA’s protections were rolled back. Rolling protections back would also subject 55- to 64-year-olds to the “age tax,” allowing insurers to charge older Americans five times more than they charge a younger person.

Maine has been the state with the oldest average age for the past several censuses and, as the chair of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, Sen. Collins should be fully aware of Judge Kavanaugh’s disastrous record on issues relating to aging, disability, retirement, and health care.

Judge Kavanaugh has a poor record on issues facing people with disabilities. He ruled against disabled patients’ ability to make decisions about their own lives, taking away the right of self-determination and allowing the government to make medical decisions for them without first learning their wishes. He sided with employers over workers in numerous disability discrimination and retaliation cases. As an attorney Kavanaugh argued that age discrimination protections in place for older workers should not apply in some situations.

Brett Kavanaugh’s record shows that he will not protect retirees’ interests. Confirming him to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court would be a catastrophe for older Americans who rely on the court system to look out for their health care and economic rights. I urge Sen. Collins to keep older people in mind as she examines his record and make the right decision for the people of Maine: reject his nomination.

Donald Bilodeau is a member of the Maine Alliance for Retired Americans — an organization that advocates for the rights and well-being of more than 20,000 retirees and their families. He lives in Leeds.

Donald Bilodeau

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.