Too many stand to lose in repeal
When folks do not have jobs that support families and offer benefits, their access to health care becomes especially critical to their own and their family’s financial well-being, as well as to their physical and mental health.
The single most critical factor between bankruptcy and financial stability in our nation is still health care. Without health insurance, a majority of Americans are one catastrophic illness away from losing everything they might own.
So why are some of our elected officials working to repeal a plan that protects the most vulnerable among us? Repealing the Affordable Care Act will bring suffering to seniors on Medicaid. The ACA extended Medicare solvency to at least 2029 by placing a modest tax increase on incomes over $250,000 and on large net investment profits. How many in the Southern Tier counties may claim to be that financially comfortable? ACA repeal wipes out those taxes. Who benefits? Not my neighbors. Not my family members.
ACA repeal also ends the gradual phase out of the drug “donut hole.” Does that help our family members and friends? Haven’t we all heard of drugs too expensive for folks to either buy or take as prescribed? Why would repealing something that helps with drug costs be supported by some politicians? Whose interests are being protected by this?
ACA repeal also eliminates Medicare wellness provisions: free colonoscopies, mammograms, smoking cessation programs, annual exams; diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol screenings. How many folks in our counties currently benefit from those provisions? How many want to see them gone so that the financially comfortable can save something on their taxes?
Repealing the Affordable Care Act also cancels real gains in health coverage, care, and cost that women have made in the past six years. Contraceptive coverage, free mammograms, and complete coverage for annual physicals will disappear. Remember how insurance companies once charged higher rates to insure women? Pregnancy and childbirth are still unique health risks for women. Does that mean women, who typically earn less, should pay more for their health care?
Tossing out a plan that benefits so many among us, without addressing the concerns with a better option, or one that confronts the costs of medications and benefits of wellness provisions for a majority of Americans, does not seem beneficial to me.
Susan Hollowell Hardy is a Fredonia resident.