To the Editor:
If Republicans are allowed to cut assistance for health insurance down to $2,000, what will happen to the full-time minimum wage worker barely making $20,000 but living in a state where the heath insurance premium is $16,000 a year?
What will it be like for the employee working for a company no longer required to offer health insurance to their workers? What will it be like for people in their 50s and 60s who will be charged five times the rate of a younger person but only get twice the assistance?
What is going to happen when millions upon millions of Americans cannot get health care once the Republican’s proposal allows states to further reduce Medicaid? Women, especially pregnant women, children, seniors, the poor and people with disabilities who depend upon Medicaid are amongst the most vulnerable members of our society. Are we willing to stand by and watch this population, along with the working poor, lose their access to health care?
The Affordable Care Act has not solved all of the imperfections in the private insurance market, nor does it give needed help purchasing insurance to everyone.
The Republicans have the opportunity to make the ACA more equitable and could do so with thoughtful legislation achieved through bipartisan compromise. They could go down in history as having done something really important.
Providing adequate health insurance to all people is a way to improve the ACA. President Trump vowed to “cover everyone.” When interviewed by the Washington Post in January Trump claimed:
“We’re going to have insurance for everybody.” He said people “can expect to have great health care. It will be in a much simplified form. Much less expensive and much better.”
Trump also said, in his inaugural address, that he never would let down the American people, and they would never be ignored. It’s time to hold Trump to his word.
Janet Leston Clifford