The premiums that many have faced under the Affordable Care Act have risen beyond affordability. However, those of us who had to purchase insurance on our own prior to the ACA remember that quality health insurance was completely out of reach for the average American. This is why we need the Public Option. The ACA has resulted in substantial gains, especially in areas such as mental health and preventive healthcare. The Public Option will force insurance markets to remain fair and competitive, especially in states with small insurance markets like Montana.
A recent study from the Harvard Medical School showed that “Deaths associated with lack of health insurance now exceed those caused by many common killers such as kidney disease”. Montanabudget.org recently reported that repeal could cost 142,000 Montanans their health insurance. These are our friends and neighbors.
In 2015 the Congressional Budget Office recently released a report, at the request of Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming).The CBO unambiguously concluded that repeal would increase the deficit by as much as $353 billion over 10 years. The repeal of the ACA is not an act of progress, it is not an act of fiscal conservatism.
As we think about this issue let us keep in mind that, while for many of us the ACA is a safety net, for others it is a lifeline. We must not return to the days when people were driven into massive medical debt that could cost them their homes or were locked out of our medical system because of preexisting conditions. Call your senators and representatives and demand the Public Option. It’s our friends and our neighbors, not the government, that will be hurt by repeal.
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