Reed’s ways harm health of others

This is an open letter to our U.S. Congressman:

Dear Congressman Reed,

It’s been an education for me and my neighbors to hear about your efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. While you provided your “positive” reasoning, there has been nothing in your response indicating that you understand or appreciate the consequences for your constituents.

Your repeal efforts, which I understand are ongoing, harm me and my neighbors.

New York state opted to accept enhanced federal funding and expand Medicaid coverage. More New Yorkers, and more of your constituents specifically, now have access to health care. These include lots of people who are employed, but who have incomes that are below or not much above the federal poverty level. You tout your “amendment” that shifts Medicaid funding from the counties to the state, but you do not address the fact that you are providing less money for Medicaid in the future. Fewer of your constituents will have Medicaid and more will have poor health outcomes. I don’t see how your support of repeal even given your amendment helps me and my neighbors.

New York sends more tax dollars to the federal government than it gets back presently. Your support for repeal will make that discrepancy worse. Why would you do that?

Your repeal efforts will replace the income-based tax credits with flat premium tax credits based upon age. I don’t understand your rationale for this, especially when you also eliminate the cost-sharing subsidies that lower deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for lower-income people. I know that you tout “Health Savings Accounts” to address this impact, but those accounts presume that someone has “spare” income to put into any Health Savings Accounts. Additionally, an account is not insurance. In the event you have money available in an account, it doesn’t help if your medical bill overwhelms your available cash.

Your repeal will have unpredictable market force consequences. You will have need for “high risk” insurance pools for people who don’t otherwise have insurance through employment and who are ineligible for Medicaid. These will be your constituents who have the worst health conditions. Truly, how will these people be insured, by what companies, and at what cost?

Finally, it is intriguing that you, as an experienced Congressman, within two months of the start of your term, determined that repeal of the Affordable Care Act is the only course available to deal with our nation’s health system. You signed onto the American Health Care Act, i.e. TrumpCare or RyanCare, without true investigation, hearings, and full opportunity for your constituents to be heard. Who does that?

Again, I appreciate that you have a “position,” but your efforts are damaging to me and my neighbors and the people who you are supposed to represent. I’m hopeful you’ll reconsider your position.

Susan Parker is a Fredonia resident.

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