ACA important to protect

To the Editor,

 

On Friday, Jan. 20, President Trump signed an executive order making the prompt repeal of the affordable care act (ACA, or Obamacare) his administration’s top official priority. Congress, so far, has failed to introduce an official replacement for the ACA. Experts on healthcare are especially concerned about the harmful effects of ACA repeal on rural hospitals like ours. On Friday, Jan. 13, the U.S. House voted to approve a budget plan allowing Republicans to end major provisions of the ACA . The legislation can then be passed with simple majorities in both chambers, and will be immune to a Democratic filibuster in the Senate. (emphasis mine) Four committees – two in the Senate, two in the House – will write language repealing major provisions of the 2010 law. (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/13/us/politics/affordable-care-act-congr...)

More than 20 million people have acquired health insurance under the ACA. While it has problems, including high deductibles, it can be improved. Right now, insurance companies cannot drop enrollees for pre-existing conditions or charge women more for the same coverage as men. Before ACA, anybody who had had an illness – serious or not so serious, depending on the plan - could be rejected. That was a death sentence for many people.

GOP alternatives to the ACA have so far not included real protections for those with pre-existing conditions, who, by the way, can include all of us at some point in our lives. Two prominent suggestions have been Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and high-risk pools. HSAs are savings accounts for those with plenty of money to save. They do have tax advantages. High risk pools, according to Jean P. Hall of The Commonwealth Fund and Wendell Potter, a former healthcare executive turned whistleblower (wendellpotter.com), won’t work. They increase costs, offer poor coverage, and are unwieldy and expensive to manage. (http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/blog/2015/feb/why-high-risk...)

On Feb. 2, the Carbon County Democrats will host a speaker from Beartooth Billings Clinic at our monthly meeting. Subject: Effects of ACA Repeal on Local Healthcare. Please see our website for more information: carboncountydemocrats.org. We are also on Facebook.

Please contact Senators Daines and Tester on this issue. Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121. They need to hear from us. On Sen. Tester’s Senate website, there is a form set up to share healthcare stories. On the House side, Rep. Zinke is set to become Secretary of the Interior, so it’s important to lobby candidates running for Zinke’s seat on the importance of fixing the ACA, or at least replacing it with a plan that includes protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

 

Kathryn Kern

Red Lodge

 

Upcoming Events

  • Saturday, November 25, 2017 - 8:00am
    Rock Creek Group meets Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8 a.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. at Calvary Church, 9 N Villard, Red Lodge.
  • Saturday, November 25, 2017 - 10:00am
    An Overeaters Anonymous group will meet every Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Grace Fellowship Church, Absarokee.
  • Monday, November 27, 2017 - 7:00pm
    Joliet Group meets at the Community Center Monday at 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 8:00am
    Rock Creek Group meets Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8 a.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. at Calvary Church, 9 N Villard, Red Lodge.
  • Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 7:00pm
    Now Group meets at the Bridger United Methodist Church, 222 W. Broadway (west entrance of church) Tuesday at 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 7:00pm
    Rock Creek Group meets Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8 a.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. at Calvary Church, 9 N Villard, Red Lodge.