I am not a health-care policy expert. I don’t understand all of the legal talk, and policy language is confusing to me. This statement is true for most working-class Americans who are busy working and providing for themselves and loved ones. Truly, a lot of us do not have the time or energy to deeply study policy that affects our day-to-day lives.
Despite this, I am urging you to call our Louisiana senators, John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy, to tell them that replacing the Affordable Care Act with the Senate health care bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, will be deadly for Louisianans, no matter the amendments made on the bill.
The Center for American Progress predicts that this legislation will cause 343,000 Louisianans to lose coverage by 2026. That number includes more than 188,000 who receive Medicaid.
If those numbers aren’t scary – if the possibility of 188,000 people losing Medicaid in one state isn’t enough to spark your interest, let’s take a look at Florida: 1,269,000 people will lose Medicaid in the state.
Nationally, the Congressional Budget Report said 22 million people would lose coverage, 15 million of which are on Medicaid.
A reminder: Medicaid is a federal insurance program for low-income folks who would otherwise be unable to get medical help because of its high costs.
When Medicaid is cut or lost, those living in poverty begin to skip going to the doctor for respiratory issues, strange lumps found on the body or even broken bones.
In short, if we pass the Better Care Reconciliation Act, preventable deaths will become inevitable deaths because we cut access to health care.
And I do want to keep this short. Like many of you, I’m exhausted from political debates that pop up everywhere I turn. I’m just exhausted.
Maybe that’s why I can barely find the passion to write this piece at all. In a Huffington Post article (I know, I know), Kayla Chadwick said it perfectly: “I can’t debate someone into caring about what happens to their fellow human beings.”
So, if you do find yourself caring about your fellow humans like I do, I need you to call your U.S. senators.
If not us, then who? It must be us.
You may think that your voice won’t matter to them, but Sen. Cassidy is already on the fence about voting in favor of the new plan. He is worried about its effect on Louisianans, and he should be. It’s up to us to push him to vote against it.