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Setting the record straight on ACA

Setting the record straight at the city corridor hosted by WPSU on Aug. 10, Rep. Glenn Thompson made various statements about health care and, particularly justifying his vote for the Affordable Health Care Act. He repeatedly asserted that the Affordable Care Act is “failing, broken, a sinking ship, imploding.” Hyperbole and obscure characterizations can’t simply be countered, however we will set the record straight with some details about the ACA and Medicaid enlargement.

Here is what Thompson stated and the information to counter his assertions. One of the factors Rep. Thompson got here again to time and again are the variety of uninsured. He didn’t focus on the variety of people who find themselves not uninsured as a result of they gained protection via the ACA and MA enlargement. In Pennsylvania, virtually two million people gained insurance coverage protection by way of the ACA and MA enlargement. Instead, Thompson stated the variety of uninsured in Centre County alone had elevated from 9,000 (7 %) to 11,000 (9 %). Contrary to the info cited by Rep. Thompson, health knowledge for Centre County present that the variety of uninsured dropped from 15,163 in 2013 to 11,322 in 2017, going from 13 % to 9 %.

In a response to a query about Thompson’s vote (as a part of the AHCA) to defund women’s health care providers offered by Planned Parenthood, he argued that (1) there have been no Planned Parenthood clinics in his district and that (2) he was an advocate of federally certified health care facilities. So the place are these facilities in the fifth District and who do they serve? According to the National Association of Community Health Centers, these group health facilities serve 142,000 underserved people in 15 facilities, of which two are dental clinics and one is a youth clinic, in order that leaves 12 basic group health facilities. Only one in every of the 12 clinics is a women’s health middle, situated in Huntingdon. While these choices are good, they’re woefully insufficient to serve the virtually 700,000 principally rural residents of the fifth District and particularly the wants of low-income women in the district.

Low-income tends to be related to lack of transportation, persistent health circumstances, and early being pregnant. These circumstances make it extraordinarily troublesome for rural residents to entry the extensively dispersed clinics that Rep. Thompson advocates for offering entry to women’s health care. Lack of entry to contraception, household planning counseling, prenatal care, STI testing, and to most cancers and common health screenings for diabetes and coronary heart illness, imply that women may have extra unintended pregnancies, have extra drawback pregnancies and poorer health outcomes for infants.

These women will probably be sicker and endure larger charges of mortality than they might if that they had entry to the very particular women’s health care that Planned Parenthood supplies. In response to a city corridor attendee’s assertion advocating for a single-payer health care system, Rep. Thompson cited the issues of the veterans health care system for instance of a single-payer system’s inherent issues. He continued in his response to object to the inherent rationing of health care that might be related to a single-payer system. The instance of rationing that he cited was Medicare sufferers in nursing houses who have been denied bodily remedy. It is my understanding that nursing residence sufferers obtain PT till they’re judged to be “not making progress.”

Is Rep. Thompson suggesting that sufferers ought to be allowed to proceed receiving PT even when it isn’t a profit to them? Thompson’s rambling reply appeared unfocused and incoherent. Despite all the issues with the veterans health care system, the majority of veterans and the teams like the American Legion that advocate for them need to see it maintained and never privatized. The main drawback with entry to look after veterans appears to be a scarcity of suppliers, each physicians and psychologists. Similarly, surveys of Medicare and Medicaid sufferers (single-payer sort techniques) present excessive ranges of satisfaction with care. Anyone who has ever been denied a request for a check, a prescription, bodily remedy or psychological remedy from their insurance coverage supplier has had care rationed. Rationing just isn’t a brand new phenomenon. Managing health care prices signifies that there are limits on what any insured individual, whether or not by way of personal insurance coverage, the VA, MA or Medicare can get hold of. Worse but are all the uninsured and underinsured whose care is rationed on a every day foundation.

For these individuals, the value of a physician’s go to or a prescription for antibiotics or insulin strips makes health care inaccessible. Their health care is rationed as a result of they can’t afford it. Responding to a query about voting to chop $800 billion from MA over the subsequent 10 years (a part of the AHCA), he claimed that MA wouldn’t have been minimize drastically. Instead of responding to the considerations of the questioner, Thompson segued to the unrelated matter of protection of pre-existing circumstances. However, the reduce in MA funding that he voted for is the final type of rationing — establishing per capita caps or block grants — which might drive states to scale back advantages and/or reduce the variety of recipients. Although the majority of MA recipients are poor youngsters and adults, by far most MA spending in PA is for the aged and disabled, both for nursing residence or community-based providers.

The ACA is just not imploding, however Thompson’s portrayal of himself as a health care skilled and caring human being is now a sinking ship. By voting for and persevering with to defend his vote for the AHCA, Thompson demonstrates he’s prepared to convey the most weak in his district — the aged, disabled and economically needy — down with him.

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