Where do you make your healthcare decisions? Many of us recognize how hard these choices can be.
This past summer, I had to weigh my options carefully while laid out on the pavement after a bicycle accident: what kind of costs would my care require? Could I afford to pay for an ambulance or for the surgery that my injuries would demand? As a college student in the years before the Affordable Care Act, I remember sitting alone and weighing my options before seeking care for a congenital lung condition: would lifetime caps on coverage mean that I had to choose between my own health and that of my family? Would getting medical attention make me ineligible for health coverage in the future?
I know where we shouldn’t make healthcare decisions: in secret back rooms without taking responsibility for the consequences.
The proposed Graham-Cassidy healthcare legislation claims to restore control to individual states, but this elaborate bait and switch trades local control for drastic reductions to Medicaid that violate our society’s commitment to its most vulnerable citizens, including those living with disabilities and pre-existing conditions. The Senate’s rush to pass this bill before independent analysts estimate its impact reveals how little our legislators care about the hard choices that ordinary people must make.
Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) recently stepped away from a promising bipartisan effort, co-sponsored by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), to improve the Affordable Care Act. People throughout our country recognize that real solutions to America’s healthcare crisis will require commitment and cooperation from both sides of the aisle. Finding a solution means recognizing that Congress must move from empty campaign promises to well-informed choices that benefit all members of our community.
I would encourage both Senators Moran and Roberts (R-KS) to support this bipartisan process and to take part in the real work of governance. They should join the rest of us in taking full responsibility for our healthcare decisions.
— Donovan Tann, Newton.