The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Tess Fahlgren
Truth Nukem 

Quist on the Issues: Healthcare

 


The House voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act on May 4, and began the process of implementing the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Republicans had tried to get a similar bill passed earlier this year, but the language of the bill split the party in half, with hyper-conservatives (Freedom Caucus) and moderate conservatives at odds. That bill didn’t get a vote. An amendment addressing pre-existing conditions ultimately helped pass the bill.

Everyone, even our President, can admit that healthcare is a complicated beast. One major change has been causing people all over the country to flock to town hall meetings and voice their dissent. Where Obamacare made sure that insurance companies couldn’t charge individuals more for pre-existing conditions or based on their gender, the AHCA will not have that same protection. Under this new plan, states can get a waiver that would allow insurers to set prices based on how healthy a person is. Eight billion dollars has been sanctioned to help with these costs over five years, but that is a drop in the bucket -- especially when recognizing that the subsidies Obamacare implemented to help people buy insurance will be reduced overall. That will likely lead healthy people to leave the insurance marketplace, further increasing premiums for those left behind.

These changes will drastically affect Montanans. As well as the pre-existing conditions legislation, the AHCA rolls back the Medicaid expansion and changes how Medicaid can help low-income people in general. The Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan agency that calculates the economic effects of legislation, estimates that the next effect of the changes would be 14 million fewer people on Medicaid. According to multiple nation-wide polls, only about a third of Americans support the AHCA.

Many of the worst case scenarios from the bill can be prevented still. First of all, it needs to be passed in the Senate. The Senate will probably make some changes and it will then be sent back to the House. By that time we should be represented by someone (without a Congressman in the House during the last vote, we had no representation). I want the person representing us to be voting with an understanding of what real Montanans need from healthcare policy.

Rob Quist says, “​I know just how much is at stake with our healthcare in this election. After medical complications following surgery, I got into debt. We paid it off, but that taught me that no one should ever face bankruptcy just because they get sick. [...] In the U.S. House, I’ll represent all Montanans, not just the millionaires.​“

Quist is the man for the job, the one who will recognize what Montanans need from healthcare policy and vote in our best interest.

Rob Quist will be in Glasgow from 4-5 p.m. at the Loaded Toad coffee shop on Thursday, May 18.

 

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