Mortal consequences of ‘repeal and replace’

Congress’ plans to unravel the ACA will have deadly results

The author, a Chico resident, is a longtime nurse practitioner and health-access activist.

Famed journalist Walter Cronkite said, “The American health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system.” Even after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, more than 22 million Americans have no health insurance and millions can’t afford their care with insurance. Yet now a hostile corporate assault on Medicaid, Medicare and the ACA is what Republicans call “repeal and replace.”

Look out for “improved.” Improving their increase in copays. Improving higher deductibles. Improving more narrow in-network provider lists.

Instead, 81 percent of Democrats, 53 percent of Republicans and 60 percent of independents want publicly run nonprofit health insurance for everyone. So let’s “git ’er done.” This ain’t no welfare scheme. We need our health like water. We give our health at work. Without it, our families suffer.

California Healthcare Collaborative is a coalition of citizen organizations, labor unions, health professionals and activists fighting for expanded Medicare. Join. Support. Intervene in the right-wing attacks and demand affordable insurance now.

Recently, a businessman told me providing his employees health insurance cost him nearly as much as paying their wages. Local family business owners are medically indigent. Average family-of-four insurance costs are $25,000 per year. We could have no deductibles, no copays, lower drugs costs, sounder local hospitals. Like every other first world country, we could spend our money on care given by clinicians we choose instead of on insurance corporation bureaucracies.

Demand health insurance for all. The excellent new documentary The Time Is Now simply and factually explains the economics. Get a copy to share with friends and neighbors. Give one to your nurse practitioner, doctor and boss. Demand implementation of HR 676, the Expanded Medicare for All bill, which has been introduced by Rep. John Conyers and 57 others in Congress.

A definitive study in the New England Journal of Medicine on the mortality consequences of lack of insurance shows the outcome of the repeal-and-replace proposals Trump and Republican leaders plan. It will kill 49,596 Americans annually. This is not hyperbole. Our choice is clear. Stand, fight back and rebuild.