Crawford for Congress on Health Care Reform

During the eight years of the Obama Administration, the Republicans constantly promised to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with something more generous. Donald Trump promised to replace the ACA with “something terrific” and “great health care at at tiny fraction of the cost.” He even promised to insure “everybody.”

Republican members of Congress made similar grandiose promises. House Speaker Paul Ryan promised that the repeal and replacement of the ACA would will leave “no one worse off.” Closer to home, Representative Jeff Fortenberry pledged that “ no one gets left behind” in the process of repealing and replacing the ACA.

As it has turned out, the GOP has broken every promise they made about the ACA since 2009. Since the advent of all-GOP government in Washington on January 20, 2017, the Administration and the Republicans in Congress have made significant changes to the health care system that will hurt all Americans.

According to a recent report from the Urban Institute, legislative and administrative changes to the health care system by the GOP will cause 9 million people to lose insurance, cost the taxpayers an additional $33 billion and raise premiums by as much as 20%.

The elimination of the individual mandate by the new tax law and allowing the sales of junk insurance policies will cause people to lose coverage and drive people from the ACA exchanges into the junk insurance market. Younger and healthier people will either drop coverage or purchase junk policies. That will cause people needing more comprehensive insurance to pay significantly more to stay covered.

As a candidate, it’s not enough for me to say what I oppose, I must also say what I stand for. Voters this cycle are (justifiably) requesting solutions. Currently, I’m running on a detailed platform on a whole host of issues.

Since I began campaigning last year, I have discovered that health care is the number one issue by a fairly wide margin. Voters are concerned about the availability and cost of health care.

As a member of Congress, I would pledge to:

  1. Continue to defend the ACA. The 2010 health care law insured 20 million additional Americans, eliminated lifetime limits on policies and ended pre-existing conditions clauses.
  2. Strengthen the health care system with a Medicare/Medicaid buy in for all plan. Any person or business could select Medicare or Medicaid as their health insurance company.
  3. Work towards the ultimate goal of Medicare for all and universal coverage.

Unlike Jeff Fortenberry, I believe that access to decent, affordable health care is a right – and not a privilege.

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