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Letter: The new Republican repeal and Replace plan

The new Republican repeal and replace plan that passed in the House of Representatives is very similar to the former plan that did not pass. It still includes a tax cut of approximately $880 billion for the rich, for the insurance companies and for the medical device companies. At the same time it is reported that 24 million people will lose their insurance under this plan. The subsidies which help people purchase insurance will go away. The Medicaid expansion will be phased out. Medicaid will be cut by approximately $700 billion dollars (block grants to states which will be fixed while expenses are expected to go up). Older people can be charged 5 times as much as younger people for their insurance.

What's new? Terms of a new amendment go something like this: states would have the option to jettison two major parts of the Affordable Care Act's insurance regulations. They could decide to opt out of provisions that require insurers to cover a standard, minimum package of benefits, known as essential health benefits. And they could decide to do away with a rule that requires insurance companies to charge the same price to everyone who is the same age, a provision called "community rating". In exchange, states would be required to set up special arrangements for high-cost patients. Remember the high-risk pools? They didn't work vey well.

Over 50 organizations oppose the Republican repeal and Replace bill. Some are listed below. AARP, the American Medical Association, the National Physicians Alliance, the American Hospital Association & Federation of American Hospitals, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the Catholic Health Association of the U. S., the National Disability Rights Network, the Children's Defense Fund, the American Public Health Association, Mom's Rising, and many more.

Robert Peterson

Henning, MN

Paula Quam

Paula Quam is the editor for Forum Communications Co. newspapers in Detroit Lakes, Perham and Wadena, all in Minnesota.

(218) 844-1466