For Senate hopefuls, Obamacare replacement still up in air

Reuters

But repealing the law and replacing it with something else is not so simple, said Elisabeth Benjamin, Vice President of Health Initiatives at the Community Service Society of New York, an advocacy group, and co-founder of Healthcare For All New York. Sure, any American can walk into any emergency room and get the attention necessary to stabilize her condition, but that isn't much help for the diabetic or cancer patient who needs ongoing care - and can't get it because she doesn't have health insurance. Twenty million people have health insurance that didn't have it before. Republicans still buoyed by their November victories said Casey's opposition to getting rid of the controversial Affordable Care Act will come back to hurt him when he runs for reelection in two years.

Casey also echoed concerns that repealing the Affordable Care Act will lead rural hospitals to close and eliminate "hundreds or thousands" of health care jobs in their communities.

"We've made some pretty significant gains", said Ryan Barker, vice president of health policy for the Missouri Foundation for Health.

You want ACA to be repealed?

But to what extent would a repeal benefit the 20 million people who now have health care coverage under the act, especially when the Republicans have presented no alternatives? "The uninsured rate is the lowest it's ever been". But while we are able to continue to invest in our community and facility, many others in our state can not.

As a hospital administrator with 37 years of experience in the healthcare industry, I am responsible for running the operations at Commonwealth Health, which includes Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, Regional Hospital of Scranton, Moses Taylor Hospital, Berwick Hospital Center, Tyler Memorial Hospital and First Hospital.

It's just about a month away from the Open Enrollment period wrapping up and participation in the state's official health plan Marketplace, has increased more than 22 percent compared to previous year. And he's called on Congress to take a page out of Massachusetts' book and increase the law's financial help for families who still struggle to afford coverage.

But the legislation is largely about providing access, not addressing current cost issues. If we are to repeal/replace or, as Mr. Trump has started saying, "or amend" the health care law, cost is a great place to start. "But I want to see it first". Another 60% said the President-elect and lawmakers should tackle the high cost of prescription drugs. The exchange is mostly for people who don't have health insurance through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program or another source of qualifying coverage.

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