October 31, 2018 Politics Healthcare: What is at Stake in this Election What drives people to the polls varies from age group to age group and state to state. Usually jockeying for the top issue are healthcare, the economy, jobs, and immigration, with healthcare nudging out the others in most polls this election, especially with young Americans. Healthcare is the one issue that keeps families up at night and threatens to erode any sense of wellbeing, be it physical or financial. What does it matter if your job is secure but you cannot afford lifesaving medical care because you have a pre-existing condition that prices you out of insurance? How do poor migrants from Central America threaten you when you cannot afford critical medicines for your diabetes? If the stock market rises or falls from time to time, why is it important when your accident requires surgery you can’t afford? What is ever more important than your child with leukemia and little coverage to save him or her? What is at stake with this election? Since 2011, after regaining control of the House, Republicans have had an obsession with repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), dubbed Obamacare, trying and failing 70 times to repeal it. The replacement effort passed through reconciliation legislation (requiring 52 vs 60 votes) in 2017 is comprised of skimpy junk plans with “continuous coverage” wording that have essential health benefits removed. With these junk plans that chip away at Obamacare, people with pre-existing conditions have been threatened by higher premiums (not allowed under Obamacare). According to Money, “In effect, under a ‘continuous coverage’ policy, a person with a pre-existing condition would need to avoid having any gap in insurance coverage in order to avoid paying more for insurance or being denied outright. So if you lose your job and your health coverage, insurers would be able to deny you coverage.” Whatever you do, DON’T LOSE YOUR JOB! Scary isn’t it? Instead of trying to IMPROVE health care for Americans, Republicans holding both houses of Congress have tried over and over to weaken it. Senator Mitch McConnell has stated recently that if Republicans retain control, they will try again to repeal Obamacare in 2019 in addition to reducing programs Americans hold most dear: Medicare and Social Security. Here’s a thought: Congress should stop propping up health insurance and medical equipment providers, pharmaceutical companies, and those in the medical community charging outrageous fees for services. Obamacare wasn’t perfect, but it was on the right track and only needed congressional support to fix issues and keep costs down. What it didn’t need was Republican-led sabotage. Please don’t take my word for the threat to healthcare, Medicare, and Social Security. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. And for heaven’s sakes, take pre-election promises by Republicans to protect pre-existing conditions with a grain of salt. Actions speak louder than words! VOTE as if your health depends on it!