Sat, March 28

Letter: Affordable, quality health care should not be a political football


We now live in a country where our elected representatives are unwilling to compromise on basic issues which are important to every American, such as health care.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), enacted in 2010, is a United States federal statute designed to provide quality health insurance to average Americans.

Due to this law, by 2016, the uninsured share of the U.S. population had roughly halved, with estimates ranging from 20 to 24 million additional people covered. Between 2008 and 2016, the number of uninsured American children dropped from 7.6 million to 3.6 million.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a majority of Americans consider aspects of the PPACA to be ‘very important’.

For example, regardless of political persuasion, 72% of Americans believe that insurance coverage should not be denied for pre-existing medical conditions; and 71% believe that insurance coverage should not be denied to pregnant women.

But congressional Republicans refuse to accept the law and have attempted to repeal it at least 70 times. Right-wing pundits argue that the PPACA is unconstitutional.

Donald Trump campaigned on repealing and replacing the PPACA. Elected in November 2016, he found himself with Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate. But alas, the PPACA was not repealed or replaced. Instead Mr. Trump has signed executive orders that seek to undermine and kill the PPACA.

Since Mr. Trump signed his first executive order in January 2017, 400,000 American children have lost health insurance coverage. In Arizona alone, 14,000 children have lost their health insurance. Maricopa county now has the third highest rate of uninsured children in our nation.

Affordable, quality health care should not be a political football. We all need and deserve quality health care - especially our young ones.

Peter Nelson

Yavapai County

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