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AHCA fails Alaska, as do Rep. Young and Sen. Sullivan

News-Miner letter to the editor:

May 22, 2017

To the editor: To say that I am disappointed in Rep. Don Young’s recent vote on the America Health Care Act would be something of an understatement. Despite his yea vote, Rep. Young himself has admitted that the bill falls short in critical areas that will hurt the people he was elected to represent.

Out of all the damage that this health care rollback will do nationwide, Alaska will be hit the hardest by it. Such statements have been made by Gov. Bill Walker and our own Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who has called the Affordable Care Act repeal process “reckless” and the AHCA a “flawed replacement.” I’m grateful that we have at least one senator who can stand to say the truth and put people ahead of party.

On the other hand, statements from Sen. Dan Sullivan have praised the AHCA or been cautiously neutral at best.

Any replacement health care bill the Senate puts forward must acknowledge the reality of healthcare in Alaska and other unique places in the U.S. The current version of the AHCA passed through the House does not guarantee critical services such as maternity care, while it simultaneously removes funding from Planned Parenthood, an organization that plays a significant role in preventing unwanted pregnancy through public education and health care services. In addition, the bill allows insurance companies to increase the cost of insurance for people with pre-existing conditions of many kinds.

In a critical time in Alaska, we must ensure that our elected representatives put people over party and vote in the best interest of their constituents. I can only hope that Sen. Sullivan has more compassion and common sense than Rep. Young and that he can recognize the damage that this bill will do to citizens of Alaska and the rest of the U.S.

Please call your senators and let them know that you oppose the American Health Care Act and any bill that fails to guarantee health care to those who need it the most.

 

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