LETTER: Action is needed to help save the Affordable Care Act

On Dec. 28, U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi addressed a letter to their colleagues in Congress calling for a national day of action on Jan. 15 titled “Our First Stand: Save Health Care.”

They warn: “Beginning in January, it is likely that Republican leaders in Congress will follow through on their threats to ram through a budget bill that will severely undermine the health care needs of the American people.”

As they predicted, Senate Republicans are attempting a partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act using the budget reconciliation process to repeal its tax and spend provisions.

A New York Times editorial Jan. 4 titled “Republicans Are Courting Disaster on Health Care” states that “Republicans in the Senate have started a process to erase the most important provisions of the health reform law with a simple majority.

“Millions of Americans are at risk of losing their coverage.”

The editorial further states that Senate Republicans are relying on “a budgetary maneuver to fundamentally change national policy.”

If, as anticipated, this reconciliation bill is modeled on that passed by Congress in 2016 and vetoed by President Obama, the expansion of Medicaid under the ACA and subsidies to help people buy insurance would both be eliminated.

Ending the individual mandate would fatally destabilize the ACA’s insurance marketplaces.

Paula Obrebski,

Port Angeles