Plans to replace ACA will hurt many people
As a health care provider living in Erie County, I have overwhelming concerns about the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, and what the effect will be on the cost of care. Health organizations have spoken out against the American Health Care Act, with concerns about the estimated 14 million Americans who could lose coverage or access to quality care. It will lead to higher deductibles, higher copays and cuts to Medicaid, which assists veterans, seniors, pregnant women, the blind and individuals with disabling medical conditions.
Most concerning is the expected increased cost to seniors, who already struggle to afford their health care. As a pharmacist, I often see my older patients skip needed medications because of the cost. One revision would allow insurers to charge seniors premiums up to five times the rates of younger individuals. I am appalled at a suggestion that we could afford to self-pay for our own care by giving up our phones, when the average American spends over $10,000 on health care! Many medications, like insulin, cost over $600 a month without insurance, and monthly regimens that cost over $1,000 are common. A broken arm would set you back four iPhones; appendicitis, 50 iPhones. When people do not have adequate coverage, the overall financial burden of health care in our nation rises, because emergency care is much more costly than preventative care.
Health care costs will continue to rise if we allow the repeal of the ACA and continue to cut Medicare, Medicaid and programs for seniors, veterans, needy children and the sick and disabled, while the billionaires get another tax break. Rep. Chris Collins has voted against affordable health care 13 times since we elected him to represent our district in the House. Please call Collins now to remind him that he is supposed to be making decisions based on the interests and needs of the taxpayers in his district.
Sarah DeLuca, Pharm D.