Why doesn’t Jaime Hererra Beutler want all of us to have access to good, affordable health care, like she and her family do? During her nine years in the House of Representatives, she admits to voting approximately 80 times to repeal or gut the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a plan to replace it. She recently voted against the Protecting Americans with Pre-existing Conditions Act of 2019. She also supports President Donald Trump’s lawsuit currently before the Supreme Court to repeal the ACA. And her views haven’t changed, even during this pandemic.
The Chronicle published an article titled, “Uninsured Rate Drops by One Half in Lewis County Since ACA”, dated Jan. 10, 2020. It points out that in 2011, before the ACA, 17.1 percent of people in Lewis County (over 13,000) were uninsured. By the end of 2017, that number had dropped to 9 percent (approximately 7,000).
Beutler promotes piecemeal acts which she thinks will replace the ACA, including health savings accounts, high risk insurance pools, and selling health insurance across state lines. None of these will work.
Health savings accounts (HSA’s) only help people who have extra money to set aside and people still need to have a health insurance policy in order to qualify for an HSA. All the money in an HSA comes from the individual and there are restrictions on how this money may be used.
High risk insurance pools have been around for decades. Some of the problems with them have included: high premiums, restrictions on people with pre-existing conditions, annual and lifetime caps on covered services, and high deductibles. Additionally, they were expensive for states to run and all of the states lost money.
Selling health insurance across state lines is already permitted in several states and yet insurance companies have chosen not to participate because it is time-consuming and expensive to set up a network of providers in each state.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners said the idea that cross-state sales would bring about lower premiums is a “myth.” The reality: “Interstate sales will start a race to the bottom by allowing companies to choose their regulator,” and allowing insurers to target the healthiest consumers. “While those individuals in pristine health may be able to find cheaper policies, everyone else would face steep premium hikes if they can find coverage at all.”
Carolyn Long, who is running to be our representative in Congress, believes all Americans deserve good, affordable health care. She supports immediately repairing the Affordable Care Act to stabilize the marketplace, reducing out of pocket costs for families, and making sure people don’t lose their health care. She also supports passing federal legislation to provide a low-deductible Public Option to compete with private insurers and expand coverage while we work towards ensuring everyone is covered by some form of health insurance. Carolyn’s stand on health insurance is one of the many reasons my husband and I will be voting for her in November!