GOP must have replacement for Affordable Care Act

To the Journal editor:

U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet, has demonstrated that he does not understand the Affordable Care Act and he has little concern for the devastating impact that repeal will have on his constituents in the 1st District.

If you live in Bergman’s district and if you have health insurance of any kind, you will be impacted by the Republican’s repeal of the ACA. More than 11 percent of Bergman’s 1st District constituents rely on the ACA, ACA subsidies and the ACA expanded Medicaid provisions to pay for health care.

This is a larger percentage than all the rest of Michigan, and his district is one that is considered to be at greatest risk for loss of access to health care if the ACA is repealed.

Many protections for employer-provided health insurance will also disappear if the ACA is repealed: a maximum limit on how long a new employee must wait to be covered by the employer’s health plan, no lifetime or annual limits on medical benefits, no co-pays or deductibles for preventive care, limits on out-of-pocket maximums, for example.

The ACA also included special taxes on very high income tax payers that will extend the solvency of Medicare. If the taxes are repealed, the solvency of Medicare is put at risk.

Was the ACA perfect? No, largely because Democrats tried to appease Republican opposition when, in the end, no Republicans supported the ACA anyway. Bergman says that “Obamacare is a basket with a hole in it.”

The solution is to repair the basket, not throw it out. Bernie Sanders offered a solution that two-thirds of Americans favor Medicare for all. The model already exists and it works. Without a profit motive and with far lower administrative costs, Medicare for all premiums would be affordable.

If you care about your health care and how you are going to pay for it under the Trump administration, then you need to tell Bergman to fix the ACA with Medicare for all. That is the fairest solution for the American people.

The Republican promise to provide private health insurance that is better than the ACA at a lower cost (premiums, deductibles, out-of-pocket expenses) and that covers pre-existing conditions is not possible to deliver.

And that’s why we haven’t seen a plan from the Republicans. When Rep. Bergman or President Trump tells you otherwise, you are being double-crossed. Ask Rep. Bergman, “where’s the beef?”

He can’t tell you.

Valorie Troesch

Dollar Bay