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Friday, June 30, 2017

Health care in Kentucky deserves protection


As it stands, the Republican plan will have catastrophic effects on families, children... (Senator Mitch McConnell alert...!!)

Letter to the editor published in the Commonwealth-Journal

Republican American Health Care Act and the negative impact it will have on (Kentucky) community- by Tim Bess


Our country’s healthcare system is in the midst of a massive upheaval. Never before have we witnessed such challenges that will impact both the type of care our community receives and the ability of our local hospital to continue providing the high-quality care that we know each of you have come to expect from physicians, nurses and staff.

Politicians in Washington, D.C., are considering a healthcare reform bill called the American Health Care Act (AHCA). 

This bill seeks to completely transform how we deliver care to you, but unfortunately, as it is currently being considered, not for the better. If passed in its current form, our local economy, as well as that of our state and country, will suffer. And our hospital, a bedrock of our community, will see severe negative effects.

Specifically, the House AHCA, as it stands, will have catastrophic effects on families, children, elderly and disabled individuals who depend on our hospital for care. It is projected to leave 23 million Americans without access to affordable healthcare coverage – many of whom live right here in our community.

Without coverage, many of these community members will be left without access to the healthcare services they need to live healthy and productive lives.

The bill could also mean significant job loss. Total jobs lost across the country could total nearly one million, including the loss of an estimated 16,500 jobs in our state alone by 2026 (commonwealthfund.org). And these effects will undoubtedly ripple into our community.

The overall impact of the Republican health care fiasco bills, ie, the AHCA and the BCRA (a regurgitated version of the AHCA) on our local economy would be devastating and felt for many years to come.

Our hope is that the U.S. Senate, will find a bipartisan solution that will have long-term durability so our patients have continued access to affordable care and our community can thrive.

We encourage every member of our community to contact our U.S. senators and let them know the importance healthcare access and coverage has for you, your family and our community. Tell them that you deserve access to quality and affordable healthcare and that this bill, including Medicaid cuts currently under consideration, could have a detrimental impact on you and your community for many years to come.

Healthcare should be protected, and it is up to us to make sure that it is.

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