Real People, Real Stories: Defending the Affordable Care Act
“Where is the compassion?”
This is a question that Lynn Edwards, a North Carolina resident, has for Republicans after they announced their replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act. This new plan could leave up to 24 million Americans without health insurance coverage by 2026, and the design of it would cost the old and poor the most, all while giving a massive tax break to the wealthy.
Under Paul Ryan’s American Health Care Act, dramatic cuts would be made to the Medicaid program. Insurance subsidies are to be replaced with tax credits, which would leave some people unable to afford premiums if they were to rise. It would allow insurance companies to charge older people five times as much as younger people, while only giving twice as much in tax credits.
Here in North Carolina, people are worried about what would happen to them if the bill were to pass. For those that currently rely on the Affordable Care Act, being able to afford medical coverage is a matter of life and death.
Lynn Edwards is one of those people. “My spouse is on life saving medicine and is required to take it monthly or he will die,” she explains. “This medication is very, very expensive. Without any insurance, it would have been unaffordable. Losing the ACA support system is not an option.”
If enacted, Trumpcare could drastically reduce coverage for rural areas. While the ACA adjusts tax credits based on the cost of healthcare plans of the area, the newly proposed Republican plan will not, and healthcare plans are notably higher in rural counties.
Kate Marks, from Hillsborough, North Carolina, has seen firsthand the benefits the ACA has had in her community. “Within our community, a rural NC community, we’ve seen the direct benefits of people finally getting coverage and as business owners are pleased to see the division of health care and employment. This allows for freedom of movement and innovations for both employees and employers.”
Jennifer Sykes worries she and her spouse will not be able to afford health care if due to the fact the new plan does nothing to protect lower income households. “As a part-time teacher whose spouse works in a small business, I am unable to get insurance through either employer. If the Affordable Care Act was not in place we would never have been able to afford our health care premiums. Please keep the ACA, as it has helped many hard working families.”
After Bobbi Mullins’ husband retired, she was forced to find her own insurance plan. Luckily, the ACA was there. “I’m afraid the new plan will be even more expensive for me, which really eats into our retirement funds. I’m 61 now and have 4 more years to go for Medicare, which I’m afraid is also getting cut back,” she says. “After paying into the insurance market throughout all of our adult life and many healthy years, I’m very upset to think that as an older adult, I’ll be penalized and charged up to 5 times more than a young person.”
All across the state there are personal and heartfelt stories like these. Real stories told by real people who depend on the ACA in order to survive. This new Republican plan only helps the wealthy and it could have devastating effects for those who need help the most. That is simply not fair. It is important for us to do all we can to prove the importance of the Affordable Care Act.
To get involved with the effort to save the Affordable Care Act, and continuing to resist Trump’s agenda visit ResistNC.org