Last week, I joined Rep. Doug Collins’ telephone town hall meeting. My purpose was to ask him why he voted for the Trump-Ryan health care act?
After introducing myself, he knew who I was. I had spoken with him in March while 120 of my supporters rallied outside his office about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. At that meeting I didn’t get to say much, so I thought, since the passage of the current House version of the American Health Care Act is the most immoral bill ever passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, I should use his telephone town hall to voice the concerns of many of his constituents.
He said, after I made some statements, that we would disagree because my “liberal” values are different from his “conservative” values.
On the telephone town hall, I used the Kaiser Family Foundation’s data to point out some of the most egregious parts of the Republicans’ “repeal and replace” bill. Remember that most of the 20 million people covered by the Affordable Care Act are low income.
• 6.3 million people with pre-existing conditions would be at risk for higher premiums under his bill, so people being treated for cancer might have to stop their chemo because they can’t afford insurance.
• Funding for Medicare would be slashed. Wealthy Americans who currently pay $100 to $150 extra per month for Medicare would no longer have to, which means lower income Americans will either have to pay higher premiums or get fewer benefits. This boils down to tax cuts for the wealthy.
• Seniors and working families would see cuts to disability insurance.
• Millions of Americans would be dropped from Medicaid.
• Babies and mothers who be among the most seriously endangered (according to a statement from March of Dimes).
• A 60-year-old in every county of the 9th District who earns $30,000 or less will see his premiums go up between 400 percent and 454 percent. That means a person who is currently paying $3,000 a year for health care can expect to pay $12,000 a year. Someone making $30,000 a year can’t afford that so they won’t buy insurance.
You can go to the Kaiser Family Foundation website to verify this information. Rep. Collins said he did and he found different data. Yes, he picked out the data that fit his argument because people in their 20s will see their premiums go down slightly. Why? Because they are young and don’t tend to get as sick as older people.
I asked him, what about the 60-year-old who won’t be able to afford insurance anymore? No answer.
His statement that our values are different is correct. But I would rather have “liberal” values that fight for the right of all Americans to have access to health care than the conservative values of Rep. Collins and his Republican colleagues that lead to the passage of this shameful bill.