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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Harmful American Health Care Act - Republicans undermine seniors

Published in the Bangor Daily News- published in  Bangor Maine Thursday, June 1, 2017

AHCA bad for seniors- Letter to the BDN editor

The American Health Care Act, deeply flawed legislation, will hurt millions of Americans and their families. 

According to the Congressional Budget Office report, an estimated 23 million people will lose their health coverage by 2026 if this bill passes.

When one considers what the American Health Care Act would mean for Maine, you can see why this bill should not be enacted.

First, the bill would allow insurance companies to charge higher premiums for people with pre-existing health conditions. According to AARP, there are 123,155 Mainers between ages 50 and 64 living with a pre-existing condition. For many, the new premiums would be unaffordable.

Second, the bill heavily penalizes older Americans in this same age group. Once again, it is the insurance companies who come out on top because they will be allowed to charge five times what others pay for the exact same coverage. According to the budget office, premiums for a 64-year-old earning $26,500 a year would increase from $1,700 to $13,700 in 2026. Let’s call this what it is: An age tax.

In addition, the bill reduces Medicare funding, which would put us on the road to turning Medicare into a voucher system. The bill would also slash Medicaid by over $800 billion, ultimately harming those who are most at-risk.

This bill is neither about health nor about care. Please call Sen. Susan Collins today and urge her to oppose the American Health Care Act.

Roberta Downey Bangor Maine

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