It appalls me that Sen. Susan Collins once again sides with Big Pharma, Big Insurance and President Trump against Mainers. Allowing insurance companies to claim a person’s disease is a pre-existing condition is the ultimate prelude to fraud.

Breast cancer doesn’t just happen one morning. Mutations in the genes accumulate progressively over generations from environmental poisons, risky behaviors (such as smoking) and pure chance. Malignant cells grow irregularly for years before they crush internal organs or metastasize. There is an inherited gene for breast cancer that almost ensures a daughter will have it, too. Will insurance companies deny her life-saving prophylactic mastectomy?

A heart attack or stroke is a pre-existing diagnosis if you’ve had one before, but arteriosclerosis can begin in childhood, so it’s a pre-existing condition in most of us.

Lifetime caps in insurance coverage are another intrinsic evil. Many serious chronic illnesses can cost millions. The purpose of insurance is to ensure that everything you work a lifetime for cannot be arbitrarily taken away.

Thankfully, the Maine Legislature outlawed such behavior when it overwhelmingly passed LD1620 — An Act to Protect Health Care Consumers Against Catastrophic Medical Debt.

I am sure I speak for the thousands of patients I was responsible for during 30-plus years in the ER, some of them at the worst times of their lives. Hard-working Americans should never be subjected to arbitrary death by disease, death by neglect, death by bureaucracy or death by lawyer. I am sure the senator’s insurance has no cap.

Paul Liebow, Bucksport

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