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Mail: Watch out for health insurance replacementTell North Platte what you think

As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to vote on a bill to replace Obamacare, a Bulletin reader sent an open letter to Rep. Adrian Smith, which says:

What do you think? Let us know through talkback.

My wife Ronda and I as well as many others were grateful that Rep. Smith held an open town hall meeting on March 6 in Chadron concerning various issues.

As we were meeting with Rep. Smith, apparently his GOP colleagues were preparing to release the “secret version of their “repeal and replace” healthcare plan. Those attending that meeting can now fully appreciate why Smith did not respond to our nearly 60 written questions we sent him by email and by letters.

The GOP plan does not fully address many of the issues that constituents have about the new healthcare legislation being introduced as two bills.

And since you are on the Ways and Means Committee which hastily held a hearing during the week with little testimony being received and without a Congressional Budget Office review of the costs and consequences of this legislation, one can only conclude that you and your committee as well as the GOP, intend to use fast track with this legislation without the media, professionals and the folks of your district being able to fully review and analyze the content of the bills.

Foremost on everyone’s mind is: “will I be fully covered in the future?” “Will I have lower premiums and deductibles than ‘Obamacare’ presently offers?” “Will I still receive adequate essential treatment and services?”

Unfortunately, the answer to these questions is a big fat no.

The senior age group 55-64 will see their premiums skyrocket by nearly 50%. In western Nebraska. where an average 80% of those that have signed up for the Affordable Care Act will see their subsidy shrink by half as the GOP replaces it with a tax credit that will benefit high income earners, but burdens middle- and low-income earners.

Then the GOP plan changes Medicaid to a state operated grant per capita fund program with reduced financial support that will reduce recipients’ coverage and over time will put additional strain on state budgets.  

So insurance premiums’ and deductibles will continue to rise, only faster with the GOP plan, and thousands of Nebraskan will lose their coverage.

Apparently Rep. Smith didn’t truly get the constituent message about “lowering the premiums and high deductibles.”

He didn’t get the message about high costs of treatment, services or expensive medications.

Smith’s and the GOP plan will make healthcare coverage more costly and it is not “a better way” as promised.


By John and Ronda Hasenauer, Harrison


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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 3/22/2017
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