June 17, 2019 | Updates

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Americans Urge Elected Officials To Build On What Is Working, Reject One-Size-Fits-All Health Care

As the House Ways & Means Committee held a hearing that laid bare the negative impacts of Medicare for all and other government insurance systems, voices throughout the nation encouraged elected officials to improve and build on what is working and fix what isn’t, while opposing a one-size-fits-all government-run system that will force Americans to pay more.

Angela McLean, Former Democratic Lt. Governor, Montana:

… Every American deserves access to affordable coverage and high-quality care.  The difficult question is: How best do we accomplish that? … [The Affordable Care Act (ACA)] was important progress that was the product of two years of stakeholder work … Some have suggested that the ACA should be abandoned, and that a government-run system is the answer.  I disagree.  What we need to do is build on the proven solutions contained in the ACA and make sure every American can have care and coverage.

… A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that while a majority of Americans initially say they favor a “Medicare for All” approach, that support declines significantly when asked more detailed questions about the potential consequences.  Among Democrats, the survey found that most would rather see their party concentrate on improving and protecting the ACA rather than passing a government insurance system.

For all those reasons and others, our approach to providing affordable choices in health care as a country needs to be focused on protecting and improving the Affordable Care Act.

MeeCee Baker, Pennsylvania:

… I know that securing affordable health care is a major concern for rural families.  We currently have a solid health care system thanks to Medicaid, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act.

… I opposed efforts over the last several years to “repeal and replace” the ACA … I worry too about repealing the ACA and replacing it with a government-run program that would limit the choice of coverage for all Americans.

It is essential for families, farming and not, to have the peace of mind that health care security brings.  So, let’s protect and improve the ACA, Medicare, and Medicaid, and not undo them for a single payer governmental program.  I urge our officials to fix what needs fixing and not, to use my mother’s old saying, “throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

Chris Coronado, Arizona:

… Rep. Kirkpatrick voted for the Affordable Care Act years ago, but now has turned her focus towards supporting Medicare-for-all.  It’s disappointing because Medicare-for-all is not something that can help patients now.  It’s a far-off policy that may never happen.  Going back to the Affordable Care Act and figuring out ways to improve it to allow more patients to get the coverage they need is something that can be done now.  Fixing the program at the margins is going to help a lot more people in the immediate, and I hope she does just that.

John Engen, Democratic Mayor, Montana:

… [W]hile a Medicare-for-all system sounds mighty attractive to me on many fronts, as a practical matter,making the Affordable Care Act better seems like the best step … More Americans are better off than they were without the Affordable Care Act, but it clearly isn’t perfect.  But if the question put before me is start over or make smart incremental changes to a reasonably functional foundation, the answer is easy.  Let’s make the ACA better … Today, smart, passionate members of Congress can continue to advocate for their ideas, but they have real opportunity to make important, concrete change more quickly by improving the state of the ACA.



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