BCRA threatens all Americans

Now that the Senate’s health bill (BCRA) has come out from behind closed doors so that it can be examined in the light of day, it is quite apparent that this bill threatens to cause great harm to Iowans and our country.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), 125,540 Iowans gained health insurance through Medicaid and CHIP from 2013 to 2016 according to a report released by the Department of Health and Human Services in December 2016. Furthermore, 51,573 Iowans signed up for health insurance in the ACA healthcare marketplace earlier this year according to the Kaiser Family Health Foundation. 22 million Americans stand to lose their health insurance under BCRA by 2026 according to a recently released Congressional Budget Office report, including many of the Iowans who have gained coverage because of the ACA.

BCRA weakens the subsidies that allow low-income Iowans to purchase healthcare coverage on the ACA marketplace. The CBO says that out-of-pocket costs would rise under BCRA, meaning that starting in 2020 “despite being eligible for premium tax credits, few low-income people would purchase any plan.”

BCRA also fails to protect access to coverage for Iowa’s seniors by allowing insurers to charge seniors five times more than younger people for healthcare coverage. Furthermore, the draconian cuts to Medicaid in BCRA would threaten nursing home services.

Let’s come together as Iowans and Americans to fix the problems with the Affordable Care Act and build a healthcare system that we can all be proud of.

CLAY PASQUAL 

Des Moines