It’s time to hit the pause button
This week, my Republican colleagues in the Senate released a revised version of their legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The revised version of this legislation is still Robin Hood in reverse, cutting off access to critical health care for those who need it the most to fund hundreds of billions of dollars in tax credits for those who need them the least.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve spoken to a number of Republican senators and Republican governors who agree with me that a bipartisan solution to improving our health care system and lowering premiums is key. We—Democrats and Republicans—need to roll up our sleeves and work on a bipartisan health care plan that truly fulfills the promises laid out by President Trump to give everyone in this country better health care for less money.
Just days before my Republican colleagues rolled out their updated plan, I went to the Senate floor to share the story of Jan White, a Delawarean from Newark. Last year, Jan was diagnosed with an aggressive form of life-threatening cancer. Because she had access to care, she underwent months of chemotherapy and other treatments. Earlier this year, Jan’s doctors told her she was in remission.
As Jan told me, the bills don’t stop just because you have cancer. While she was sick, Jan and her husband Mike worked hard to keep their small business running. Today Jan continues physical therapy, even though her insurance-approved visits ran out long ago. Her family’s current premiums—not including deductibles and out of pocket expenses—are double their mortgage. Under the Republican plan, due to Jan’s age and preexisting condition, those costs would rise.
If the Republican health care proposal becomes law, a woman like Jan would most likely be unable to afford the treatment she needs to live. Families who have watched a loved one suffer through a devastating illness like Jan’s know that someone’s chance to live shouldn’t depend on whether or not they can afford their medical bills. We must do better.
Over the next week, I will keep talking with my Republican colleagues and governors about what’s at stake for families in this debate. I encourage you to share with me, at www.carper.senate.gov/healthcarestories or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, your thoughts on how we can improve our health care system and why health insurance coverage matters to you.