We Believe Health Care is a Right

Erin Potter
Erin Potter
Freedom is the peace of mind
knowing that an injury or illness
won’t ruin your family financially.

She isn't even 15 yet, but Erin Potter has fought leukemia three times.  After a bone marrow transplant, she threw up constantly and lost all her hair, a painful and frightening experience for any child – times three.

A lifetime cap on insurance could have meant the end of her treatment, but fortunately Erin was covered for each battle.  Because of Obamacare, Erin is alive today.  Insurance will continue to cover her.  Without that coverage, her family would be buried by insurmountable bills.

If Congress repeals Obamacare, what would Erin’s family do?  Erin would not be insurable.  She’d struggle through the rest of her life without the ability to have health insurance.  See the documentary, “UNINSURABLE: Erin Potter’s Story” at www.uninsurabledoc.com.

“It does something to your dignity and your pride and your spirit when you feel like you can’t give your children the most basic protection,” says Erin’s dad, Kevin Potter.  “It’s wrong and it’s not who we are.”

Heath care should never be about tax cuts for the rich.  It should be about making sure children like Erin have the coverage they need.

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Repealing the Affordable Care Act

The push to repeal Obamacare is dead – for now – thanks to resistance from families like the Potters who packed town hall meetings across the nation.  But Trumpcare, like disco and cockroaches, has come back to life repeatedly.       

Nearly 22 million Americans stand to lose their insurance coverage if Obamacare is replaced by Trumpcare.  It would force low and medium-income families to pay more money for worse care.  And it would end Medicaid as we know it.  

Trumpcare is really a massive tax cut for the rich masquerading as a health plan.  It repeals nearly all the taxes in Obamacare, including taxes on drug companies, medical-device manufacturers, health insurance companies and the very wealthy.  This is essentially a redistribution of wealth from America’s poor and working-class families to big corporations and the wealthy few.  Repeal of the Medicare taxes alone would give the 400 highest-earning American taxpayers a $7 million tax cut each.  President Trump alone would get up to a $2.8 million personal tax cut.  It shocks the conscience. 

Congressional Republicans wrote the terrible Trumpcare bill behind closed doors – and they haven’t given up yet.  They’re still working in secret, with the goal of passing their cruel bill this summer.

Repeal Hurts Minnesotans

Repealing Obamacare would reverse gains made in Minnesota, where a record 96 percent of all residents now have health coverage.  Nearly 380,000 of us would lose coverage our lives depend on.  It would also drive up insurance and medical costs for all Minnesotans, including AFSCME members.

The financial impact of repeal is staggering.  In Minnesota, where 1.2 million people get coverage from Medicaid, the change would mean an immediate loss of $2 billion beginning in 2020, and growing to a total of $31 billion by 2030, according to a new state analysis.

Changes would cause job losses and service cutbacks at Minnesota nursing homes, clinics and hospitals, including Regions, Fairview and HCMC, where AFSCME members work.  Not to mention halting reforms that aim to boost quality, improve medical outcomes and cut costs.

Improve Obamacare, Don’t Repeal It  

Trumpcare is a heartless plan that is deeply flawed.  One that throws 22 million Americans off health insurance, undermines protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and raises costs on older Americans and those in rural communities – all to provide tax breaks to the wealthy.

Listen to doctors, nurses, hospitals, patient advocacy groups and the American people.  Our message is clear: Improve Obamacare.  Don’t repeal it.  Republicans need to give up their purely partisan exercise and work with Democrats, experts and the American public to strengthen our health care system.  The time is now.

In solidarity,

Eliot Seide