Demand the Preservation of Affordable and Effective Healthcare for West Virginians
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[Image Credit: “Healthcare Is a Human Right” by Juhan Sonin, used under CC BY-SA 2.0 / Cropped and modified.]
Republicans in the House and Senate are disregarding the health and welfare of West Virginians with their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replace it with the proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA).
The Republican AHCA rolls back protections for people with pre-existing conditions, which could increase health care costs for an estimated 130 million Americans, many of whom reside in West Virginia. West Virginia leads the nation in the number of adults under age 65 with declinable conditions at 36 percent.
The Republican AHCA stipulates that states can allow insurers to charge people with pre-existing conditions more for health insurance (which is banned under the Obama ACA) if the states meet certain conditions, such as setting up high-risk insurance pools. Insurers still cannot deny people coverage outright, as was a common practice before the ACA's passage. However, they can hike up premiums to an unaffordable amount, effectively pricing people out of the market.
The Republican AHCA would allow states to opt out of requiring insurers to cover “essential health benefits,” which include mental health treatment, emergency services, maternity care, and other measures. The AHCA also includes a proposal to limit federal Medicaid funds; it pushes out block grants to the states. In this case, the federal government would give a set amount of money to each state for Medicaid; it would be up to the states to decide how they spend the funds. This means less funding and therefore fewer people covered.
We MUST NOT allow the Republicans to cause our citizens to lose their insurance or Medicaid coverage by passing their new AHCA, which is NOT affordable and NOT a good healthcare bill and definitely NOT representative of how we want to provide healthcare for Americans.
We MUST NOT allow the current government and insurance companies to raise insurance rates so high that paying for insurance becomes unaffordable.
We MUST NOT allow insurance companies to limit the preventative care benefits that our citizens need the most.
We believe that the health and welfare of West Virginians must come first. As we work to ensure affordable and effective healthcare to our citizens, it is important that we all act as one to deliver our message to our elected officials.
We demand that any ACA repair or replace must pass this four question test:
1. Will it insure more people, not less?
2. Will it lower out-of-pocket-expenses, not raise them?
3. Will it retain the same or better essential benefits and protections currently in place, regardless of age, income or pre-existing conditions?
4. Will it sustain or extend Medicaid expansion, and preserve Medicaid as an entitlement?
We ask that you join us in standing together in the name of health care for West Virginians, as we are stronger together. We will stand strong as a coalition of committed and dedicated individuals, organizations, and businesses. Our coalition will affect the way our representatives advocate for us, driving home the point that we have many supporters who will fight for what is right and just for our families, friends, and neighbors.
Please sign our petition to present to our Senators and Representatives. We are stronger together. As one voice, we can make Congress listen to their constituents!
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