Letter to the Editor: The Human Cost of Repealing ACA

Letter to the Editor: The Human Cost of Repealing ACA

Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-10) recently voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act as well as make cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The ACA provides subsidized private health insurance for those who cannot afford the incredibly high prices, including a healthy profit margin, that private providers charge. That is why the ACA came into existence in the first place. People were without health care because they could be turned down for pre-existing conditions and/or charged exorbitant monthly rates with incredibly high deductibles that they could not afford. Many have health care bankruptcy and debt stories to tell. The ACA now provides healthcare for millions who did not have it before. It also provides one-stop shopping for part time workers or freelancers who do not have job provided health care as well as for the self-employed.

What is this magical plan that the Republicans say will cover everyone at a lower cost? The answer, of course, is unsubsidized private for profit health insurance since they are vehemently against a logical single payer system. It would definitely take magic for that to work this time since it didn’t before! Remember the “death panel” scare—well that is what you can look forward to if you don’t have affordable health insurance. They may try to dupe us with remedies such as Health Savings Accounts, but the catch is that you need money to put into such an account. If you don’t have money for insurance how would you have money for an HSA? How would you be able to save enough in an HSA to afford a major operation and hospital stay or pay for extended cancer treatments.

They may say that you could buy health insurance across state lines. With only a few large health insurance providers operating in our country, it would not matter which state you bought a policy in. They say you can shop around for the best price which would lower health care costs. How many doctors must you have on speed dial so you can check prices while you are being rushed to a hospital in an ambulance? What if your appendix just burst or you had a stroke or a heart attack etc., etc. How will you be able to find the best deal if you are unconscious?

Our disjointed system of medical insurance, preventive care and prescription drug costs is the most expensive in the world. Why don’t we start treating this subject with some common sense and decency? Every person needs health insurance. We get sick, have accidents and injuries, give birth, age and die--it is the human condition. We all deserve care and compassion in this life.

In two years, we will be able to use our vote to elect someone who truly wants people to have affordable health insurance as well as someone who does not want to tear Medicare and Social Security apart.

Rebecca Horahan