For over 48 years I have protested unfairness, war and inequality. Over the years I have rarely felt as horrified as I do when contemplating the American Health Care Act. After seven years of promising us a better, more comprehensive, less expensive alternative to the ACA, the GOP has presented the American people with a bill that potentially leaves millions uninsured or grossly underinsured.
The proposed GOP healthcare bill takes health care away from those who need it most: the sick, the working poor and older Americans that are not yet eligible for Medicare. Replacing the current ACA subsidies with fixed tax credits based on age will not come close to covering the premiums for individuals ages 55-64. Driving the poor and older Americans off health care may reduce the deficit but at what expense? Is this how we treat the vulnerable in our country?
Who benefits from the GOP plan? The young and the rich. The American Health Care Act provides low premiums for the young and healthy. Worse, this act provides tax breaks for the wealthiest, $7 million per year for the 400 richest families in the US and tax relief for health insurance executives earning over $500,000 per year.
As members of Congress work through the details of this bill they have a moral obligation to defend the poor and sick. They should use this opportunity to fix the ACA and not punish the less fortunate.