North Country Deserves Measured Approach in Healthcare Reform
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Since its creation, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or “Obamacare” has never been a perfect program. However, it is because of the ACA that over 20 million more people have insurance now than in 2008, including approximately 10% of St. Lawrence County with many more benefiting from expanded Medicaid and Medicare coverage. Insurance companies can no longer deny people with pre-existing conditions, young people can stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26, and there are no longer “lifetime” maximums that limited coverage for the very sick.
Yes, there are problems. And we from both parties deserve a measured approach to healthcare reform from our Congress that takes into consideration all the failings of the ACA but also the achievements. This is not a partisan issue – this is a North Country issue.
Currently, the Senate Republicans are determined to recklessly repeal the ACA and figure out how to replace it later. There is a mad rush to get this long-sought repeal on Trump’s desk on Day 1. But I have to ask – who benefits from this? Not the North Country where we stand to lose benefits and have to choose between drugs or food, medical treatment or financial ruin.
On January 11th, Senate Democrats proposed amendments to maintain the rules about pre-existing conditions, the age 26 rule, and also women’s rights to free to affordable contraception. All were voted down.
The baby is being thrown out with the bathwater.
The North Country is economically depressed with many people struggling to get by. People shouldn’t have to turn to Go Fund Me to treat their cancer. We shouldn’t have to hold Jubilees at the Amvets. We are a region of hardworking people who deserve better. And the reckless approach to repeal without replacing is not right for us. It also does not help that Republicans hope to defund Planned Parenthood which will further affect 12,000 people in the North Country.
Rep. Stefanik we encourage you to vote against the reckless repeal of the ACA without a well-thought out, measured, and researched replacement. To vote for the repeal would be ill-advised, irresponsible, and just plain wrong for the residents of the North Country.
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