Health care debate impacts state, county and neighbors

I am writing to express my concern over the posssible repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the effects on Chautauqua County.

According the state Department of Health, there are currently 15,200 Chautauqua County residents enrolled in the health care act. This represents 11.5 percent of our total county population and is the highest percent of residents by county in U.S. Rep. Tom Reed’s district. Mr. Reed has whole heartedly endorsed and supported the repeal of ACA with replacement by the American Health Care Act. But has he taken our county residents into serious consideration in doing so?

The American Health Care Act is the so called new improved, health-care plan devised by the Republican Party and endorsed by the Trump administration. There has been a lack of proper vetting of the plan through committee in their rush to get the legislation on the House and Senate floor. Mr. Reed has chosen to support party lines, unquestioningly, on this legislation even with the lack of financial information and impact for the people of the nation and Chautauqua County.

Are you aware that repealing Affordable Care Act and the passage of the American Health Care Act, Chautauqua County would lose over $2.4 million in federal funds designated for Medicaid recipients currently under the current plan?

Where will the funds come from to support the needs of our residents after this act is repealed? What will be the cost of your insurance?

Will your coverage be less than you currently have, but cost more? Will our local hospitals and doctors be willing to accept insurance that was purchased across state lines? Will our only Planned Parenthood Clinic in Jamestown be defunded? These are just examples of questions that need to be addressed and answered before this legislation takes place.

If you are concerned about these issues, please contact Mr. Reed at 202-225-3161 and voice your opinion. It is important to let him know. There is too much at stake to simply “repeal and replace.”

Now is the time to educate yourself and become aware of this and other important issues in Congress that will have a direct effect on your life and your neighbors.

Susan Rodgers is a Silver Creek resident.

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