Kentucky residents stand to lose much if either version of “TrumpCare” (The House’s “American Health Care Act”—AHCA or the Senate’s "Better Care Reconciliation Act”--BCRA) becomes law. The Commonwealth enjoyed having one of the most successful state exchanges...until Matt Bevin reversed his predecessor’s executive order.
Kentucky has reduced the uninsured rate dramatically via the Medicaid expansion—440,000 Kentuckians now have access to healthcare who previously did not.
Kentuckians are represented in the Senate by Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell… we know what that means for the future of the Affordable Care Act— the “Obama Care” we would like to keep and improve. There is a lot at stake here.
With that in mind, Kentuckians have been busy letting their Senators know exactly what is at stake— and how the BCHA would impact the real people living in the Commonwealth.
People's Emergency Health Care Hearing
On Sunday and Monday, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth held a virtual hearing. Their tagline: ”For 25 hours, we’re holding the hearing on the health care bill that Mitch McConnell refuses to hold in the Senate.”
Folks from all over the state participated… doctors, nurses, policy advocates, addiction counselors, parents of children receiving healthcare via CHIP...regular ordinary people whose lives have been made better because of the Affordable Care Act. I encourage you to watch the highlights from the KFTC’s website: kftc.org/...
Save Our Healthcare Rally
Today, a group of us met at the Capital for a “Save our Healthcare Rally”… organized by Together Frankfort, Indivisible Bluegrass, Our Revolution Central Kentucky and Together We Will- Bluegrass. Our message: we care about ALL Kentuckians, and they deserved to be informed about what their government is doing.
Speakers talked through the economic consequences of both the House and Senate versions of the bill, shared personal stories of poor treatment prior to the ACA as well as stories of how the Medicaid expansion has kept families together.
Dustin Pugel from the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy outlined the fact that both versions are really tax legislation, not healthcare or medical legislation. He pointed out that nearly one-half MILLION Kentucky residents will lose coverage, and encouraged us to stay informed and call our legislators to voice our concerns.
Greg Welch from Together We Will-Bluegrass spoke about the conservative viewpoint that serious illness must be a punishment of some sort… he called bullshit on that idea right away! His stance—Access to good healthcare is vital to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
A Frankfort Women’s Shelter representative shared how the Medicaid expansion impacts the Kentuckians who are served by homeless shelters all over the Commonwealth and specifically for the 104 people who have been served by the the Frankfort Shelter in the past two years. Preventative care is such an important part of getting people back on their feet. A resident of the center and her young son (not pictured for safety) stood briefly while a letter she wrote was read—she passionately described how Medicaid is helping her beat addiction and keep her family together.
Kay Tillow, the Director of Kentuckians for Single Payer Healthcare, reminded us that the United States is NOT number one in terms of life expectancy (www.cia.gov/...)...in fact we are 42nd. She places much of the blame for that on lack of access to healthcare, and poor childbirth and maternal outcomes.
Colman Eldridge, former Executive Assistant to Governor Beshear, who worked with him on healthcare issues, spoke last. My favorite part: “Whatever the politics of the moment, we are supposed to make a judgement because it is the right thing to do. We don’t need polls to make a moral decision!” He also said that the Republicans must not have much faith in their country...the United States was built on risk-taking. They tell us that it is impossible for us to design a healthcare system that will work for all… not impossible if we are really trying. He shared the story of getting in trouble for calling a family friend (a veterinarian) when his mother had been really sick for several days. There was no money for a doctor’s visit, and she told him not to call. The vet told Colman to call an ambulance. At the emergency, after treating and admitting her, the doctor came to the waiting room to see who had called the ambulance… he wanted to thank them for saving a woman’s life. He found out it was her 14 year-old son— who had done so against his mother’s wishes. Healthcare is a right... because no child should have to decide whether minding his mother might cost her life.
The links below are full of great information about the impacts of healthcare legislation specifically in Kentucky:
Call Senator McConnell to have hearings: 202-224-2541
If you live in Kentucky— speak specifically about the legislation impacts you and/or your loved ones. If you live anywhere else— he is the Senate Majority Leader, and his actions are impacting an entire nation. It’s long past time to be honest about the BCRA— if it is such better care, the Senate should be happy to have a hearing to share all the details.
Update—link to an article about the rally! :-)