Monday, January 16, 2017

“Hands off Obamacare, Medicaid and Medicare”

On Sunday afternoon more than 20 people from New Braunfels and other parts of Comal County rallied in support of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and Medicare outside Congressman Lamar Smith’s office. All the participants are worried that access to healthcare will be lost for themselves or family members or friends if Republicans in Congress pass legislation to dismantle the Affordable Care Act without even having a replacement for it.

It is widely understood that the Republican plan to convert Medicare to a voucher will jeopardize the health and lives of many seniors. The problem is there is no guarantee that they’ll be able to acquire comparable insurance even with higher premiums since many of those on Medicare are much sicker than the average population. Since insurers make their profits by avoiding the sickest people some will find healthcare unattainable.

Don’t forget that a significant fraction of Medicare participants, like my wife, aren’t retirees, they’re people who are totally disabled and frequently unable to acquire health insurance on the individual market at any price. Even the Texas high risk pool didn’t want her and pushed her off to Medicare.

Let’s not forget about Medicaid, Texas Republicans have already cut reimbursement rates for some of the most vulnerable children in Texas. Now those children can’t get the physical therapy and other services they need to be even remotely healthy or self sufficient.

Lamar Smith needs to be told “Hands off Obamacare, Medicaid and Medicare”.

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