Townie right on AHCA provisions

By Thomas O'Rourke, Ph.D., M.P.H.
The (Champaign, Ill.) News-Gazette, May 23, 2017

Kudos to Ryan Jackson (the Reluctant Townie) for his recent excellent article. "Rodney Davis voted for your death panel" by supporting the American Health Care Act that barely passed the House, 217-213.

Let me add a few other points. Besides taking $880 billion out of Medicaid, it would take another $312 billion out of subsidies that help working families buy private coverage through the Affordable Care Act exchanges. Instead of helping people get care, this money would be diverted to give an $800 billion tax break to people with incomes over $200,000.

Davis's vote threatens to strip coverage from 57,300 people in our district.

But it doesn't end there. If the ACA is entirely or partially repealed, 413,700 individuals in the district with employer-sponsored sponsored health insurance are at risk of losing important consumer protections such as coverage of pre-existing conditions and the prohibition on annual and lifetime limits.

Also, 377,200 individuals in our district with health insurance covering preventive services like cancer screenings and flu shots without any copay, coinsurance or deductibles stand to lose their access if the Republican Congress eliminates ACA provisions requiring health insurers to cover important preventive services without cost-sharing.

Undeniably, the ACA is flawed. It left 28 million Americans uninsured and millions more with unaffordable premiums, deductibles and copayments.

But the GOP plan would make things much worse.

Instead of moving backward, we should move forward and go from the ACA to a Medicare for All plan like the one proposed by Rep. John Conyers (H.R. 676).