Republicans’ passage of their (anti-)American Health Care Act in the House of Representatives is the opening salvo in their full-scale assault on the welfare of most Americans.

We can refer to the plan as Trumpcare, since the Donald gleefully celebrated passage as a “win,” even though the bill ignored his promises to provide more people with better coverage at a lower cost and with lower deductibles. For Trump, a “win” is what counts, not the details.

Or, we may refer to Trunkcare, since it is a wholly Republican creation, rushed into passage with no hearings and little debate. They couldn’t even wait for a Congressional Budget Office scoring on costs and losers under the plan.

Or, we can call it Truncatedcare, since it would result in far less health care being delivered. Tremendous increases in premiums for older or sicker Americans, coupled with the refusal of insurance companies to cover some conditions and the drastic decrease in subsidies provided for those with lower incomes will result in a much less healthy America.

Cutting more than $800 billion from Medicaid will grievously harm poorer Americans and increase the financial pressure on hospitals.

Voting for passage was a no-brainer for Bruce Poliquin, since cutting the Medicaid funds puts a nice tax cut in his pocket.

Let’s face it, today’s Republican Party exists to serve only the interests of the wealthy, disguised as the great god Free Market. If they succeed in harming, rather than fixing, Obamacare, they will attempt to privatize Medicare by giving seniors vouchers and turning them over to the tender mercy of the private insurance market.

All health care will be rationed by one’s ability to pay.

And you’ll love what Republicans have planned for tax “reform.”

John R. Merrill

Augusta