There has been considerable national debate on healthcare as of late — though we believe the debate has been completely misframed and has been for years.
The U.S. Senate produced a bill, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act which is a follow-up and similar to the U.S. House's American Health Care Act. Both of these bills are an attempt to deal with how Americans pay for their healthcare and to "reform" insurance.
In the case of the Senate bill, the Kansas contingent is split. Sen. Pat Roberts, at least to date, has supported the bill. Sen. Jerry Moran, at least to date, has not.
We hope you have been writing letters and making phone calls to those two men to discuss the bill. And, quite honestly, we hope you have opposed it. Let us be crystal clear on this point — our opposition to this bill is not about support for the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare). There is a lot to not like about what the Affordable Care Act. Our opposition to the "Better Care Reconciliation Act" and the American Heath Care Act is about what is best for Kansas, and in turn, Harvey County.
Neither of these bills are about the quality of care, but how care is paid for. It is here, how care is paid for, that we must oppose both of these bills. The Urban Institute estimates that 120,000 Kansans will lose health insurance coverage under the Senate bill. The Kansas Hospital Association has come out in opposition to the bill as well, claiming the Senate proposal would likely trigger deep cuts to the Medicaid program that covers thousands of Kansans with chronic conditions such as cancer, along with the elderly and individuals with disabilities who need long-term services and support. According to the KHA, Medicaid cuts of this magnitude are unsustainable and will increase costs to individuals with private insurance.
There is a lot to not like. The Alliance for a Healthy Kansas cites job lossess, insurance premium increases and the loss of insurance coverages for Kansans. They call the bill devastating for Kansas.
We may not love Obamacare, but we really dislike what is being proposed as an alternative. Write our legislators and ask that they try again.
— Kansan editorial board