The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

Do not abandon Affordable Care Act


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Mar. 23, 2020 - 1:19 PM

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For ten years, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has ensured that Georgians, including the 4,316,000 Georgians who - like me - live with a pre-existing condition, have access to quality, affordable health care.

I am a three-time cancer survivor who relies on the ACA for health insurance. People like me in your own neighborhood will not survive without it especially now with the COVID-19 virus infecting so many people.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court announced it would take up the California vs. Texas lawsuit to dismantle the ACA in its upcoming term, which if successful would eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions, undo bans on annual and lifetime caps, and end limits on out-of-pocket costs. If Trump is successful, millions of Americans, and people across Georgia will lose their health care. People like your friends and family.

As the U.S. scrambles to prevent more deaths from coronavirus, President Trump’s bumbling approach to this crisis means some patients seeking coronavirus testing and treatment may not be covered. Slashing the budget for the Center for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health, disbanding the infrastructure set up to deal with pandemics, and just making it harder for people to access health care, the Trump administration has left Americans especially vulnerable to the coronavirus. Denial is not just a river in Egypt with this administration.

It’s also important to note that if Trump is successful, anyone who contracts coronavirus - which could be considered a pre-existing condition, as it can destroy lung tissue - will no longer be protected from discrimination from insurance companies. This lawsuit spells devastation for the more than 20 million Americans who gained coverage under the ACA, and would unleash chaos within the U.S. health system at a time when we desperately need stability and support.

In the middle of this pandemic threatening millions of Americans’ health, Republicans and the Trump administration are still trying to take away my health care and I am furious. It is callous and cruel to continue with this lawsuit amidst our current health crisis. If the ACA is undone, it will unleash chaos in our health care system. Right now, we need to be stable, and supportive of those who are sick. If you think this doesn’t affect you because you have coverage at your workplace, one day you may be like me, unable to work, but not yet at Medicare age and make too much for Medicaid. I support myself, but without insurance one more bout of cancer would have me living in my car if I still had my car. This could be you. Many folks are only a paycheck or two away from disaster. This crisis is proving this fact.

President Trump and Senators Loeffler and Perdue have a responsibility to protect us, and that means ending the partisan war on health care. The Affordable Care Act has taken this country a long way in ten years, and we simply cannot afford to be dragged backwards.

Cindy Pursley

Newnan, GA