Fix health care law, don’t nix it

To the editor:

The Republican Senate health care bill has been aptly renamed the American Wealthcare Act. This shameful partisan Senate bill was contrived by 13 men cloaked in secrecy behind closed doors. It rips over $880 billion from the Affordable Care Act and doles it out to the richest 2 percent of Americans, Big Pharma, and health insurers at the expense of 22 million Americans in desperate need of health care. According to the CBO report, 22 million Americans will lose coverage by 2026, and of those, 15 million will lose coverage next year. Tax cuts proposed by the Senate bill for the richest 400 Americans could pay for 750,000 people to be on Medicaid. Yes, you read that correctly!

So, what do those that work in the health care industry, those who administer to the sick, have to say regarding the Senate and House health care bills? The breath of disapproval you may find disturbing.

When the president of the American Medical Association, Dr. David Barbe, was asked how he felt about the Senate bill he said, “There are not many parts of this we like…does it improve coverage? No. Does it improve affordability? No. Does it stabilize the safety net, Medicaid? No.”

The following groups expressed similar views in their rejection of both the House and Senate bills. They are: American Medical Association, American Diabetic Association, Catholic Health Association, American Nurses Association, American Heart Association, American Hospital Association, American Public Health Association, National Disability Rights Network, National Physicians Alliance, AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers, American Federation of Suicide Prevention, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, HIV Medical Association, Children’s Defense Fund, Planned Parenthood, Amercan Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, American Congress of OBGYN, American Psychiatric Association, Amercan Osteopathic Association, and American College of Emergency Physicians.

These groups and the individuals they represent are delivering our health services. Their opinion should matter.

No question that the ACA needs remediation, and there are remedies available to fix it. Steven Brill, author of “America’s Bitter Pill” and an authority on the ACA has put forth nine recommendations that Democrats and Republicans, working together, could enact to fix Obamacare.

Call U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman and tell him to work with the Democrats to improve the ACA. Tell him to stop being a sycophant for the rich and pay more attention to the needs here in the U.P.

Phil Keyes