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Press Release

Senate Takes First Dangerous Step Toward Jeopardizing Health Care of 75,000 Maine People

Emily Brostek, executive director of Consumers for Affordable Health Care, has denounced the Senate’s passage of a budget resolution to pave the way for repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“Early this morning, Senate Republicans took the first dangerous step towards dismantling the ACA without a replacement in place, jeopardizing health care coverage for 30 million Americans. Their plan to repeal the ACA without any sort of replacement – a plan opposed by 8 out of 10 Mainers – is reckless and irresponsible.

“The GOP has had six years to come up with a viable replacement for the ACA, and they have failed to do so. The budget resolution passed today as a vehicle to dismantle the ACA is essentially empty – just like their replacement plan. Despite six years of repeated attempts to dismantle even the most common-sense provisions of the ACA, we still have not been presented with a cohesive replacement. Maine people deserve to know what the plan is for their health coverage.

“What few replacement ideas we have seen from Republicans do have some common threads: They would cut taxes for the rich while increasing taxes on the middle class by taking away tax credits to purchase coverage, taking $262 million out of Mainers’ pockets. They would leave older, sicker Mainers worse off. They would, according to a recent report from George Washington University, cause the loss of approximately 13,000 jobs in Maine alone, and undermine our economic recovery. They would shift the economic burden of health care onto the backs of seniors and working families while increasing number of uninsured children.

“We applaud Senator King for voting against advancing repeal of the ACA, and speaking passionately about the devastating impact repeal would have on the lives of Maine people. While we were disappointed in Senator Collins’ vote in favor despite her repeated calls to slow down the proposed repeal, we were encouraged by her votes on defeated amendments that would have prevented the Senate from adopting legislation that eliminates protections for people with preexisting conditions; places lifetime or annual caps on care; harms rural hospitals; reduces the number of children and young adults who are insured;or harms women’s access to health care; among other provisions. Senator Collins was the only member of her party who voted for many of these amendments. We hope that Senators King and Collins continue to listen to the many, many people across Maine that we know are reaching out to them daily to share how repeal would impact their families.

“We will continue to push Maine’s congressional delegation to listen to their constituents and put people’s health and financial security ahead of tax cuts for the wealthiest households and corporations. There should not be a single vote to repeal the ACA until congressional Republicans have a comprehensive replacement plan to show the American people.”

One response to “Senate Takes First Dangerous Step Toward Jeopardizing Health Care of 75,000 Maine People”

  1. Old Observer says:

    It seems to me that the problems surrounding replacement of the Affordable Care Act generate the need for an old yet new idea: Health insurance cooperative.

    (Wikipedia) A health insurance cooperative is a cooperative entity that has the goal of providing health insurance and is also owned by the people that the organization insures. It is a form of mutual insurance. A health insurance cooperative would not be government owned or run, but would instead receive an initial government investment and would then be operated as a non-profit organization.

    I would say that you could form a cooperative without any government investment and instead find a quality private health care provider(s) that will be willing to provide the startup funds. Then it is a matter of switching consumers to register in the co-op.

    (Wikipedia) Bill Oemichen, President of the Cooperative Network, remarked that “where co-ops are, they tend to be very, very high quality because it is the consumer who owns them, that is making sure that their health care provider is a quality health care provider.” Oemichen also stated that 65% of those who switched from typical health insurance reported better coverage and service.
    In June 2009, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley told reporters, “if it’s all done entirely within the private sector, you know, it doesn’t seem to me it’s got the faults that you have… by having the government institute something.” Steven Hill, a program director at the New America Foundation, has written for Salon.com that “co-ops may hold the key to a substantive compromise”, comparing the U.S. reform proposals with health care in Germany. He argued that they can produce quality care for less money given that they would lack the profit motive, they would negotiate fees for service, and that they would end current market monopolies that insurance companies have in several states.

    Old Observer

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