Letter to the Editor: Democracy in Action?

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To the editor,

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION? The Senate—well, half the Senate—is preparing its new health care bill. Where the ACA took over a year of research, debate, and bickering, this bill (AHCA) takes just a couple of weeks, in secret, no debate. Even Republicans have been kept in the dark on what’s in this bill. This is NOT democracy in action.

MEDICAID. Did your aging parents “sell down” the family home to be eligible for nursing-home care? Clear out a room at home, because Mom and Pop will be out on the street. The working poor—health care workers, teachers, construction workers, fast-food workers, retail workers, laborers—who work part-time and/or who have no employer-provided health care has expanded since the 2008 crash, as employers changed hiring and benefits policies.  The Medicaid pie is divided as follows: 50% to the elderly, 20% to disabled, 20% to working households (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities).

FAMILY. Maternity care MAY NOT be covered in your state! Delivery can cost $10,000 to $20,000, more for a C-section, more for prenatal care. Birth control—pills, IUDs, diaphragms—whether they treat reproductive conditions like endometriosis, or simply good family planning—Gone. You are on your own (according to the Kaiser Family Foundation).

JOBS. In the next ten years, after a brief rise in employment to start, some 924,000 jobs will be lost, three-quarters of them in the health care industry, accompanied by an economic loss in the range of $148 billion (according to the Commonwealth Fund).

Pre-existing conditions, psychological and psychiatric care, treatment for opioid and alcohol addictions, no yearly and lifetime caps on coverage —gone, gone, gone. And of course, the 23 million folks who finally got coverage and will now lose it.

This is madness. It’s morally unacceptable. It’s economically disastrous. The wealthy will be wealthier and healthier. Will you?

Contact Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and Congressman Andy Harris, to fight this bill—if for no other reason than for the sunshine of democracy. Get this bill into the daylight.

Marion Grier

Church Hill, MD

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Letters to Editor

  1. Excuse me, but didn’t Nancy Pelosi admit, concerning the ACA, “”We’ll just have to vote for it to see what is in it!” The Democrats have been asked to participate but refuse because they are anti-Trump; they weren’t shut out of the process the way the Republicans were with ACA. I grow tired of all of the hypocritical shrieks of alarm from the progressives. Most are just hoping to draw the uninformed into their camp.

    Get real. Grow up.

    • Gren Whitman says:

      I agree with Ms. Grier!
      The Senate’s health insurance bill being pushed by McConnell is a crisis and it’s high time for us to call Senators Cardin and van Hollen.
      However, calling Representative Harris is a waste of time. Better to confer with a rock. Or a sponge. Or a slug. Or shout your concerns up a canyon; at least you could listen to your echo.

    • Deirdre LaMotte says:

      I’m very sorry but you are wrong. In June and July of 2009 the Senate Health Committee spent almost 60 hours over 2 weeks marking up the Bill that became the ACA. In October
      of 2009 the Senate Finance Committee worked on this legislation for 8 days…its longest mark-up in 20 years. It considered 130 amendments and held 79 roll call votes .
      The full Senate debated the ACA “Obama Care” for 25 days.
      Again, facts are facts. At least they used to be.

  2. Beverly Jones says:

    Just the other night I received a call inviting me to a town hall (by phone) with Mr. Harris. I indicated that I had a question to ask and stayed on the line. I could hear the questions and answers of several others before someone came on the line to confirm my name and address. I was then asked what my question was…in advance of speaking with my representative. I explained that my question concerned health care, but that since I wasn’t expecting their call I was trying to decide which health care question to ask (our family will be greatly affected by changes in health care and there are so many questions!) and that I looked forward to speaking with my representative.
    While I waited I decided to mention initially that I was concerned about protections for those with preexisting conditions, but I was especially interested in how this new Republican plan would control health care costs…not premiums, but costs of services which seems to be perhaps at the root of the premium increases. And I really wanted to understand from him his position on the proposed exemption for Congress and their staff…Under the Affordable Care Act they were required to purchase their plan from the existing marketplace like those that they represent. If this is such a great plan why vote yourselves out of it?
    I was given the opportunity to listen to the town hall, but never called upon to ask a question. What wonderful representation! I am certain that he doesn’t expect my vote in the future.

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