I am writing to express my concern over the actions of Congress on health reform. Currently, the U.S. Senate is working behind closed doors to draft legislation that could change the future of health care in America. The U.S. House of Representatives’ approach to health reform led to the truly flawed American Health Care Act (AHCA) — legislation that would weaken benefits and cause millions of Americans to lose their health insurance.
As a family physician from Eatonton, I provide comprehensive care to my patients. The AHCA would harm many of them. Analysis of the bill shows 987,600 people in Georgia would lose health care coverage and see dramatically increased premiums — an average of $1,034 in Georgia.
The AHCA threatens the health security of people who have pre-existing conditions or cannot pay for skyrocketing premiums or co-payments and deductibles. It doesn’t address the real-life challenges people have with health care. The policies in the AHCA disguise discrimination as flexibility and make health care less accessible and more expensive for those who need it most.
Health reform is needed, but we must maintain the gains in patient protections provided by the current law, and I encourage Congress to work toward a bipartisan solution.
I urge readers to contact U.S. Sens. Isakson and Perdue to urge them to oppose any legislation that would deprive the citizens of Georgia of meaningful health care coverage. It is important to me that none of my patients (and other Georgians) lose access to care because they have lost affordable health insurance.
Eddie Richardson, Jr., MD, FAAFP
President – Georgia Academy of Family Physicians