NORMA STEWART: Concerned about Republican’s new health care plan

TO THE EDITOR:

Republicans unveiled phase one of Trumpcare, their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

The very act of repealing the ACA weakens the Medicare trust fund and raises drug costs for seniors on the program. The AARP warns that insurance costs will also increase dramatically for seniors over age 50 not yet eligible for Medicare.

If you receive healthcare through either the Healthy Michigan program or traditional Medicaid, the Republican plan will eliminate or slash your coverage. Healthy Michigan is part of the Affordable Care Act. If Republicans get their way, this program will be reduced over time and ultimately die. The impact of this will not be felt until after the next election. Perhaps they hope you won’t notice.

The proposed, drastic, cuts to traditional Medicaid funding threaten the security of longterm care for millions. Traditional Medicaid is the single biggest funder of longterm care in this country. Less than 8 percent of the U.S. population carries longterm care insurance. The median household income in Manistee County is approximately $41, 395. If an elderly loved one needs long term care, the annual cost can easily be $73,000.

Rural hospitals will struggle if the ACA is repealed and replaced with this immoral and fiscally irresponsible plan. In our U.S congressional district approximately 106,000 people are currently enrolled in Healthy Michigan and traditional Medicaid combined. Many of these people will no longer receive preventative services, forcing them to end up in the emergency room with more serious illness, requiring more expensive care. The cost of this unnecessarily expensive, uncompensated, care will strain hospitals and raise prices for everyone else.

The Republicans call Trumpcare the American Health Care Act. It is now clear which Americans they work for. Their replacement plan jeopardizes the life and well-being of ordinary citizens, yet repeals taxes on the wealthy. This tax repeal saves the top .1 percent of earners about $195,000 annually. The 400 highest earning households in the country will get an average tax break of $7 million every year. Their misguided plan also includes a tax break for executives making over $500,000.

Republicans control all branches of government. Phase one of their plan embodies their long held desire to destroy Medicaid. Will Republicans take the next steps to fulfill their elitist ideology and destroy guaranteed Medicare by turning it into a privatized voucher system? Will we find out soon, or after the next election? Stay tuned for the next phases of Trumpcare, and make sure you are registered to vote in 2018.

Norma Stewart

Filer Township

Leave a Reply