Congress has been keeping concerned citizens busy with its many failed proposals to replace the Affordable Care Act. To date, all of the proposals are predicated on slashing Medicaid coverage and modifying health exchange plans and protections in such a way that the cost of coverage would skyrocket for older consumers, people with pre-existing conditions, and people in high-cost coverage areas.
Simply put, these proposals don’t function to improve health care, extend coverage to more individuals or lower the cost of health insurance. Quite to the contrary, both the latest version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) and the repeal-only Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act (ORRA) favor simplistic ideology over the health and wellbeing of communities. Clearly, neither of the proposals is a good deal for America or Colorado.
If you’ve been following the news, you know that Congressional leaders are desperate to pass some kind of bill – whether it’s a half-hearted attempt to replace the ACA, like BCRA, or a full-scale repeal of the ACA like ORRA. The first approach will leave 22 million more Americans uninsured, devastate state budgets, and raise premiums for most people who are covered in the private market. The second approach would leave 32 million more uninsured and raise premiums by as much as 50 percent. Either scenario will be disastrous.
We understand that everybody is tired of calling their elected representatives and sending letters and emails, but we encourage you to turn up the heat. Although Congressional leaders dropped previous proposals, they are continuing to cut backroom deals with token offers of money for opiate treatment or community-based services that are dwarfed by losses built into the bills. They aim to persuade reluctant colleagues to approve a plan that would reverse the last eight years of health coverage gains. A vote could come as soon as next Tuesday.
That’s why we’re asking you to call or write Sen. Cory Gardner again and tell him enough is enough! Stop playing political games with our health care and start working on a bi-partisan fix for the health care system so it works better for everyone.
No proposal that strips health access from low-income families, the disabled or older Americans is acceptable. In the days leading to a vote, please light up Sen. Gardner’s switchboard and fill his mailboxes with emails and letters.
Your efforts will only take a few minutes. If we all work together, we can preserve health care for millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Colorado. Contact Sen. Gardner today by phone at (202) 224-5941 or by email.
– By Bob Mook