The ill-fated and ill-conceived American Health Care Act was pulled from consideration minutes before a vote in the House of Representatives on Friday, March 24. These letters were mailed March 27, 2017. On May 4, the ACHA was passed by a narrow margin in the House and will move to the Senate for further consideration. I’m thinking about what to write to our senators about that, and I’m finding it difficult to keep it to the space of one greeting card.
Dear Mr. President,
You may not think so now, but you are very lucky that the American Health Care Act failed. That bill went against your promises to the American people: “insurance for everybody” and better healthcare for less cost. Yes, you promised these things and people believed you.
Now is your chance to make good on your promises. Take your time. Create a health plan that delivers the improvements you said we should expect.
Or, if you can’t do that, at least make changes to the Affordable Care Act so that it will deliver what you promised.
Mr. President, if you can develop and pass legislation that provides better health care at lower costs to all U. S. citizens and taxpayers, you can be proud for it to be called Trumpcare, and you will deserve to be considered for a second term in office.
Dear Representative Conaway,
We are all lucky the American Health Care Act failed. Now it is up to you and your colleagues in the House of Representatives to craft a healthcare bill that does the following:
- Extends health care coverage to all U. S. citizens;
- Funds preventive health measures, including birth control for those who wish to prevent pregnancy;
- Brings down health care costs by subsidizing medical education and practice, so doctors do not carry such a heavy debt when they graduate from med school;
- Mandates negotiating prices for medicines, medical supplies, and equipment, for citizens and for hospitals and physicians’ practices.
Please feel free to contact me about my family’s excellent experience when we used England’s National Health System for seven years.
PS I am embarrassed and very sorry that I misspelled your name several times. I will spell it correctly from now on.
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The Senate got up to bad tricks the last couple of years, and caused our health insurance bill to skyrocket in 2017. The cause of the large increase to insurance customers appears to be this paragraph in the appropriations bill in December 2014:
SEC. 227. None of the funds made available by this Act from the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund or the Federal Supplemental Medical Insurance Trust Fund, or transferred from other accounts funded by this Act to the ‘‘Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services—Program Management’’ account, may be used for payments under section 1342(b)(1) of Public Law 111–148 (relating to risk corridors). (Source: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113hr83enr/pdf/BILLS-113hr83enr.pdf#page=362)
This paragraph ended a program put in place with the Affordable Care Act, which helped cushion insurance companies from unexpectedly high payouts. When the cushion was pulled out from under them, insurance companies passed on the costs to their customers.
There’s not much we can do about this after the fact, except urge our Senators to work hard to repair the Affordable Care Act and move it toward a single-payer health system.
Again, these notes were mailed March 27, 2017. I’ll be getting back to writing soon. There’s so much to do!
Dear Senators Cornyn/Cruz,
Well, thank goodness the American Health Care Act failed. Now it’s time for you to repair the damage you have done to the Affordable Care Act.
If Obamacare is collapsing, you have colluded in breaking it. I refer to Senator Rubio’s addition to appropriations bills which prevented planned payments to insurance companies serving high risk corridors, which had the effect of raising my family’s insurance rates by over 70% for 2017. Other citizens suffered even higher rate hikes.
Our insurance company’s letter notifying us of this rate increase was cleverly and suspiciously timed to arrive a couple of weeks before the November 2016 election.
Yes, Senator, we noticed that bit of flim-flammery you took part in. Is it your policy to make political points by hurting your constituents?
I demand that you UNDO the so-called Risk Corridors legislation to allow insurance companies to be reimbursed retroactively and rebates to be paid to customers. When that has been accomplished, you must legislate better and more affordable healthcare for all U. S. taxpayers.