Let’s continue to adapt ACA

To the Editor,

Thank you for the column in the July 8 issue about how the “Senate health care bill threatens the well-being of our community” proposal puts this region’s residents at risk.

Health care proposals to repeal and possibly replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the Senate not only threatened the well-being of the community but further divides our country by exacerbating income inequality and continuing the trend of increasing healthcare costs.

The Senate’s proposals would have eliminated coverage for 32 million fewer people, based on the Congressional Budget Office review, would have allowed for denials of coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, and adults 50 to 64 would have seen their annual premiums soar.

Unlike the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) would not likely have changed what is broken in our healthcare system — the business models that continue to encourage higher costs.

The ACA is not perfect, but it does contain several initiatives that attempt to improve how healthcare is delivered and reduce waste and costs. For example, as the Indivisible Project points out the ACA required plans to “spend at least 80 percent of the premiums collected on providing actual health care, and not on administrative costs, marketing campaigns, CEO salaries, or — most importantly — profits. This ACA requirement returned a staggering $396 million to 4.8 million families in 2015.” This is a starting point from which to transform the system.

Unfortunately, any efforts to repeal and replace the ACA distract from progress in this area. Instead of getting rid of the ACA, let’s continue to adapt it — so it works for all Americans.

With our congress in recess until Sept. 5, we ask the residents to reach out to your state and federal legislators to share your concerns as well.

Marcus Pimentel

Board Chair of Salud Para La Gente


Concerned over proposal to reduce COLAs

To the Editor,

As a federal retiree who has served our country for years, I am deeply concerned with a provision in the president’s budget which would eliminate cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for current and future federal retirees. I ask that my Representative and Senators oppose any proposals that would reduce COLAs for federal retirees.

The annual COLA provides protections against inflation, but even the current calculation is inadequate because it understates the impact of health care spending, yielding lower annual COLAs. Reducing or eliminating my COLA further threatens my health and financial security.

This proposal would diminish the value of my hard-earned annuity by allowing inflation to erode the benefit over the course of my retirement. With the cost of goods and medical care on the rise, I will not sit back and allow this attack to gain a foothold.

Neil Harvey


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