Letter to the Editor - ACA / Trumpcare

 

We , the undersigned,  are writing this letter out of our sincere concern regarding the newly proposed American Health Care Act  (AHCA or Trumpcare), which would replace the current Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare), enacted in 2010, and how these changes would affect our families,  friends and neighbors across Washington County. 

The ACA established basic legal protection to provide affordable, universal health insurance by sharing responsibility of  government, individuals and employers.  Due to the complexity of this program, the intent is to make changes for continuous improvement over at least a ten year period.

Below are the changes that the AHCA will make to the Affordable Care Act and how it will affect Americans:

-End protections for people with pre-existing conditions.  By removing the community ration provision, insurers would again be allowed to charge exorbitant rates for coverage of pre-existing conditions. This provision prohibits people from being charged more based on health status and gender. 130 million Americans have a pre-existing condition, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, depression and many more.

-Allow insurance companies to charge older Americans significantly more for their health care.  Large numbers of Medicaid people would loose their coverage, resulting in 14 million fewer people covered.

-Require women to pay more for health insurance than men. For example pregnancy care would no longer be a required benefit.  Nearly 3 million Americans, mostly women and children, receive their basic health care at Planned Parenthood clinics, which would be defunded by the AHCA.

-Harm children with special needs by cutting Special Education funds for schools. Medicaid funds a proportion of education for students with disabilities.

-Put lifetime and annual benefit caps back on the table for even those with employer coverage. 

-Small rural hospitals will have to eliminate some services or close due to reduced funding.

The above cuts to health insurance and Medicaid amounts to six hundred billion dollars in tax breaks which will be passed on to the wealthy  and corporations.  This Act will take away health insurance for 24 million Americans according to the Congressional Budget Office. This could also result in 24,000-44,000 more Americans dying every year from lack of insurance. 

The bill is now under Senate review. If you share our concern please get in touch with the Maine state senators Susan Collins (202 224 2535) and Angus King (202 224 5344).

Jean Bookman, Lubec

Marcia Chaffee, Trescott

Dick Hoyt, Lubec

Rob Chaffee, Trescott

Heidi Herzberger, Trescott

Dan Halter, Trescott

Holly Whitehead, Lubec

Alan Mead, Whiting

Judy Patterson, Whiting

Gretchen Mead, Whiting

Jacquelyn Lowe, Whiting

Fritz Buehner, Lubec

Susan Reily, Lubec

Janet Weston, Trescott