A number of months ago I wrote a Letter to the Editor raising concern that when the Republican Congress moved to cancel the Affordable Care Act, known as ObamaCare, that many of the essential provisions that impact not only those on the ACA, but all Americans who have health insurance, would be eliminated. My friend in Eagle River questioned both my knowledge and judgement.
Recently the President and Speaker Ryan pulled the bill that would have done just what I said would happen. Ten essential provisions of ObamaCare were being eliminated in the proposed bill. They were: 1) ambulatory patient service, 2) emergency services, 3) hospitalization, 4) maternity and newborn care, 5) mental health and drug use treatment, 6) prescription medication, 7) rehabilitative services and devices, 8) laboratory services, 9) preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management, and 10) pediatric services.
Now, simply put, if this bill proposed by Mr. Trump and Mr. Ryan had passed, your health insurance policy would be worthless, except to the insurance company which collects the premium. If you got sick, had a baby and wanted care for your children, you might as well have stayed home and hoped that over time you got better. If you had gone to a doctor or to the hospital, you would have been presented with the bill. People with a prior condition or a chronic illness would simply be out of luck.
Remember the saying: "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me!" The promise by Mr. Trump and Mr. Ryan to make health care better and more affordable for all Americans proved to be an empty promise. Don't be fooled again!
Twenty-four million Americans are covered by the ACA. Millions of Americans under individual or group policies are protected with the guarantee found in the ten essential provisions of the Act. Your children are covered until the age of 26. You cannot be dropped because of a chronic illness. You cannot be denied insurance because of a prior condition. The Affordable Care Act is not perfect. Call on Congress to fix it!