Congresswoman Robin Kelly

Representing the 2nd District of ILLINOIS
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The Republican health care plan means more dead Illinoisans

Mar 10, 2017
Editorial

In “What the Obamacare replacement plan could mean in Illinois,” Lisa Schencker lays out the harsh reality of House Republicans’ health care “plan.” Quite simply, their plan means more dead Illinoisans and higher insurance costs.

A recent assessment by two Harvard Medical School lecturers estimated that repealing the Affordable Care Act would kill 43,000 Americans every year.

The risks presented in the GOP’s bill are particularly troubling for older Americans. Under the Republican bill, tax credits are based on age. This may be beneficial to younger people, but it simply does not keep up for older Americans.

Their bill also allows insurers to charge older Americans as much as five times the rate charged to someone who is 21. It’s clear that my colleagues’ plan leaves older Americans out in the cold.

For me, protecting the Affordable Care Act isn’t just a policy imperative, it’s a personal responsibility.

By ending the ACA’s Medicaid expansion program, 53,100 of my constituents will lose their health insurance. That means more sick commuters riding on CTA, more sick kids in classrooms and more Illinois employees missing work.

If that’s not troubling enough, Republicans buried one of their favorite anti-woman provisions in this bill: defunding Planned Parenthood. In FY2016, Planned Parenthood of Illinois performed 43,962 STI tests and 6,704 cancer screenings. Do we want more than 50,000 people going without lifesaving cancer and disease screenings just so Republicans can score political points?

My colleagues dropped this bill in the dark of night hoping to use the cover of darkness to strip millions of the everyday security of health care. Darkness can’t hide the thousands of Americans this bad bill will kill.

— U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, Illinois Second Congressional District

Read the original at the Chicago Tribune.

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