For years, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) has claimed to support the middle-class, favored the expansion of health care coverage and pledged to protect the environment. The GOP tax scam hammers the middle class, guts health care coverage and will irreparably hurt the environment. Who is harmed under this bill, and why does Sen. Collins continue to support it?
Mainers’ Health Because Premiums Will Rise and Medicare Cuts Are on the Horizon. Analysis from the Center for American Progress found that Mainers will see their premiums increase $2,350 under this tax bill. 50,000 Mainers will lose their insurance, and Medicare funding will see a $120 million cut in 2018. The immediate cuts are not the only cuts facing health care, either. In a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), CBO Director Keith Hall made clear what Republicans have long said won’t be the case: Medicaid cuts are coming, to the tune of $18 billion. And Republicans, from Paul Ryan to Marco Rubio, are now admitting these cuts will be the next step. Sen. Collins previously highlighted Medicaid cuts as one of her primary concerns with GOP health care legislation and told CBS, “I don’t want seniors to have the anxiety of wondering whether the tax bill somehow is going to trigger a cut in Medicare.”
Middle Class Mainers’ Pocketbooks. The tax scam benefits the wealthiest earners at the expense of the middle class Per JCT analysis, “high-income households would get the largest tax cuts as a share of after-tax income, on average, while households with incomes below $30,000 would on average face a tax increase.” Sen. Collins previously criticized tax cuts for the highest earners.
Saddling Future Generations with More Debt. The tax bill would raise the budget deficit by nearly $1.5 trillion according to every independent analysis which has been conducted. The Joint Committee on Taxation found that the bill would cost $1.63 trillion, the Penn Wharton Budget Model found that it would cost $1.64 trillion and the Tax Foundation found that it would cost $1.78 trillion. Sen. Collins previously said she didn’t want the tax bill to “blow a hole in the deficit.”
Allowing More Drilling in Alaska. Buried in the bill is a provision allowing drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). ANWR drilling is a clear giveaway to the country’s largest oil companies at the expense of the planet, and is unpopular on both sides of the aisle. Twelve GOP Members of Congress recently urged its removal from the bill, and poll found wide opposition across eight key GOP Congressional districts. Sen. Collins previously was the only Republican to vote against ANWR drilling in a budget proposal.
Sen. Collins, it’s clear that the vast majority of this country will be harmed under this bill. It’s massively unpopular, with the opposition nearly doubling those who favor it. And Mainers are already furious about it. It’s not too late to change your vote – come out against this appalling piece of legislation, and instead return to the principles you’ve claimed to want to advance.