Letter: Don’t believe what Republicans say

Published 10:09 pm Thursday, November 14, 2019

Republicans have been working hard to take away the protections of the Affordable Care Act. Last year I called my insurance company, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and asked them why why were taking away my health care plan. Their response was, and I quote: “Trump took away the cost-sharing payments that were the law with ACA, so it is too expensive to insure you on that plan without the cost-sharing payments.”

Blue Cross and Blue Shield did an excellent job of finding me a different plan for 2019 because some protections of the ACA are still the law. Now, Trump and his Republican supporters are in court fighting to take away protections for preexisting conditions required by the ACA.  Examples of preexisting conditions include cancer, diabetes, glaucoma, etc. For instance, when my son had a tonsillectomy at age 5, because he had been treated for colds in the past, the insurance company considered this a preexisting condition and paid nothing for the operation or medical bills. It took me until my son was in college, never missing a payment, but I finally got the medical bills paid out of my own pocket even though I had insurance at the time. This could not have happened under the ACA. If the Republicans win, I will be unable to get any type of decent health insurance that I could afford because I have a preexisting condition. Any Trump Republican will support this lawsuit, taking away the protections of the ACA for people with preexisting conditions. We can fix the problems with the ACA, offer a public option and allow every American affordable health care without blowing up the deficit like Trump’s tax cut for the rich did.

Remember when Republicans used to say “repeal and replace” at every opportunity? The truth is that they want to repeal, period. There is no replacement plan. Health care savings accounts don’t work unless you have money to put into them. A high risk pool is simply another way to say unaffordable health care for those with preexisting conditions. These replacements will not work at all for regular people like me. The House of Representatives has passed a bill to ensure affordable healthcare for people with preexisting conditions. Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate leader, refuses to even allow a vote on this bill in the Senate. In fact, the House of Representatives has passed dozens of bills that Mitch McConnell simply files in his self-described Senate graveyard (i.e. throws them in the trash.) Don’t believe what Republicans say about health care. Believe what they are doing in court lawsuits and the Republican Senate to take health care away. Speaking as an Independent voter with a preexisting medical condition, please vote for a Democrat, like Dan Feehan, who will continue to fight for  health care for southern Minnesota residents.

Email newsletter signup

Lisa Johnson

Albert Lea