Guest Opinion: GOP’s ‘Better Care’ would hurt Iowans



Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., right, and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., left, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 27, 2017. In a bruising setback, Senate Republican leaders shelved a vote on their prized health care bill Tuesday until at least next month, forced to retreat by a GOP rebellion that left them lacking enough votes to even begin debate. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Now that the Senate’s health-care bill has come out from behind closed doors so that it can be examined, it is quite apparent that this bill threatens to cause great harm to Iowans and our country.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 125,540 Iowans gained health insurance through Medicaid and CHIP from 2013 to 2016, according to a report released by the Department of Health and Human Services in December 2016. Furthermore, 51,573 Iowans signed up for health insurance in the health-care marketplace earlier this year, according to the Kaiser Family Health Foundation. Some 22 million Americans stand to lose their health insurance under the GOP plan by 2026, according to a recently released Congressional Budget Office report, including many of the Iowans who have gained coverage because of the Obama-era plan.


The Republican proposal weakens the subsidies that allow low-income Iowans to purchase health-care coverage on the marketplace. The CBO says that out-of-pocket costs would rise under the GOP plan, meaning that starting in 2020 “despite being eligible for premium tax credits, few low-income people would purchase any plan.”

The GOP proposal also fails to protect access to coverage for Iowa’s seniors by allowing insurers to charge seniors five times more than younger people for health-care coverage. Furthermore, the draconian cuts to Medicaid in the plan would threaten nursing-home services.

Let’s come together as Iowans and Americans to fix the problems with the Affordable Care Act and build a health-care system that we can all be proud of.

—Clay Pasqual  Drake University student

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