LETTER: Dems own health care issue, but candidates need unified plan

To Ozaukee Press:

Democratic presidential candidates can’t win in November by deriding the economy, and President Trump may not get a second term if he continues to lie about protecting pre-existing conditions while actively seeking to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The ACA’s fate will be decided by the Supreme Court, and his administration lobbied the court to postpone a ruling until after the election.

 Repealing Obamacare will likely mean the return of pre-exiting clauses and terminate Medicaid coverage for 11 million, end premium subsidies that enable millions more to obtain coverage, an increase in prescription drug prices, the loss of no-cost preventative services, an average increase of $4,200 in out-of-pocket costs individually, the loss of nearly 1.2 million health care-related jobs and will add 20 million to the uninsured rolls, including 431,000 in Wisconsin.

Admittedly, Democrats own the health care issue, but their presidential contenders can’t reach consensus on the best way forward, which only serves to confuse voters. The candidates can disagree on a myriad of other issues, but they must forge a specific plan on health care that is universally supported.

 Conceptually, this unified vision must start by auto enrolling the five million who were denied Medicaid expansion coverage, include a Medicare buy-in as a coverage option along with private plans and, most importantly, offer subsidies to middle-income consumers so that nobody has to pay more than 8.5% of household income for premiums, as well as cap out-of-pocket costs at $1,000 individually per year. Finally, allow even those who have employer group coverage the chance to comparison shop and enroll.

 Actually, this is similar to the current proposals offered by Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar. Hopefully, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will get on board if the plans can offer dental, vision, hearing and a $200 annual cap on prescription drugs.

There’s no need to force employers to cease offering group coverage because many consumers will realize they’re getting a better deal with Obamacare. Best of all, these added benefits can be paid for by repealing the Trump tax cuts.

Greg Melcher
Port Washington

 

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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Port Washington, WI 53074
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