As of today, Senate Republicans have released their draft of the repeal and replace of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA aka Obamacare). In the secret GOP health care bill named the American Health Care Act (AHCA) drafted by very few Senate GOP members, with Mitch McConnell leading the way, it has been released and it's not promising - as expected. The bill has had little to no debate because of the GOP keeping the bill confidential from Democrats, the media, and even some of their very own Republican colleagues. Where is the transparency from our Republican Congress members on this issue? Especially on an issue that would severely affect the lives of so many Americans.
There is no debate that there needs to be improvements in our current health care system - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was that first step. What is needed on this issue is how we can bring the costs of health care down on Americans. NOT how we can take away health coverage from Americans. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that 24 million American's would lose medical coverage. Even more devastating is that this new bill would deeply cut Medicaid by $880 billion dollars. Medicaid is the Federal-State health insurance program for low-income individuals. Medicaid covers children born in poverty, the elderly in nursing homes, the disabled with expensive health costs, and veterans who have to rely on this to live.
If this legislation passes, working people who still have low-income would lose their Medicaid coverage (which Obamacare has helped them gain). The majority of Medicaid recipients are senior citizens and disabled person's who have relied on Medicaid way before Obamacare. Especially those elderly and disabled individuals who receive the home-health care programs, therapies, and nurses to survive normally as they should. Instead of helping them, they would unfortunately lose out on this care and possibly not be able to live on their own in the comfort of their homes. It would have adverse effects on the opiate crisis we are seeing all over the nation with regard to treating substance abuse. Children with disabilities in special education programs in schools would see cut backs in their services to the children who so desperately need it. Pregnant women and newborns needing the care they should be receiving such as simple hospitalization, wellness/pediatric services, and other important maternity care services could decide to opt out. Women who depend on Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings, STD testing's, and access to contraceptives would suffer. This is only a fraction of the repercussions that would come from this horrendous health care bill. Medicaid provides so much for our citizens whether you realize it or not.
This cut in Medicaid would be for what? You guessed it, slashing taxes for the wealthy. Denying this essential health care for the American people based on what Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, or Donald Trump believe your worth is as a person (or should I say as a dollar sign) is morally wrong. Insurance companies have publicly spoke up about the detrimental outcomes as well as a number of health advocacy groups. Mitch McConnell has declined to meet with many advocacy groups who know the serious ramifications of this new piece of legislation. The March of Dimes, the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, and the American Lung association are just a few to name.
At any moment anyone can become severely sick, whether it be from a car accident, a serious illness such as cancer, or simply losing your job. Maybe you are fortunate enough to have excellent health care and this is the least of your worries... but I pray to God you understand the consequences of this bill and that you never find yourself in this type of predicament. Maybe then people will understand the importance. Put yourself and your families in others shoes. With that in mind, please have a look at the bill for yourself, call your Senators and make yourself heard!