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Letter: Health coverage is at risk for millions of Americans

Health coverage is at risk for millions of Americans

Early this year, I asked Rep. Chris Collins his reasons for repeal of the Affordable Care Act without a replacement plan. His response did not answer my question, nor discuss replacement options. Instead, he wrote: “I am confident that with the leadership of President Trump, this Congress will implement truly meaningful health care reform.”

The lack of specifics and the recent consequences of government policy changes cause great concern.

I have had various past roles in health care – as a medical director in health insurance and hospital arenas, as an educator for medical trainees, as a family caregiver, as a primary care physician in hospital and outpatient settings, and as a consumer trying to balance cost versus benefits for my family.

Health care is a complex, interconnected system. From personal experience, one seemingly minor change can affect several other areas. Decisions should be carefully considered with dialogue among those knowledgable on the issues.

Cost changes are not due solely to the Affordable Care Act. Over decades, overall health costs and individual health care costs have increased in a fluctuating manner because of demand for services, available technology, new medications, prices for services, economic stability (increases generally occur after recession) and shifts in who is responsible for paying these costs (employers versus government versus individuals).

Millions of Americans have their health care coverage at risk. Don’t we all deserve a thoughtful, inclusive plan rather than face consequences of hasty, reactive actions? If you agree, please write your congressional representatives.

June Chang, M.D.


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