MICHAEL RUSSELL

Do your homework and let Congress know what you think of GOP health care bill

Mar 7, 2017, 3:49 PM
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., center, standing with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg ...

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., center, standing with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., right, and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., left, speaks during a news conference on the American Health Care Act on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

So there you have it: The Republicans have a health care plan or three.

This is the end of the Democrats’ claims that the Republicans have no replacement for Obamacare.

On Tuesday, both the House and the Senate are sending several health care bills to the floor for debate.

The main commonality that I see in these bills is a clean repeal of Obamacare that will be run simultaneously with a complete replacement plan for Obamacare.

In press conference, Republicans held onto a common theme and that theme is exactly what  I wanted to hear: A reduction of insurance costs.

Whether you love Obamacare or hate Obamacare, you have to admit that the cost of health insurance has skyrocketed. It has increased more than 20 percent in one year right here in Arizona.

That puts a married father of two like myself in the position of having to pay $1,800 per month with $6000 deductibles per member of my family, and an 80/20 plan after deductibles are met.

It seems that there was no “affordable” in the Affordable Care Act

What I don’t like to see are the Republicans claiming it’s not a 2,500 page bill and using the term “starting point” or “a good place to start.”

They have a bill that was passed by both the House and the Senate 15 months ago — a plan that Obama vetoed. Jim DeMint encouraged the Republicans in the House and Senate to simply vote on that bill again and place it on President Donald Trump’s desk.

From my understanding, that is still an option that is on the table. That option needs to be exercised — and in short order.

As I have said before, 20 million people are not going to be left without health insurance. Not because our elected officials care about us or our healthcare, but because our elected officials care about their reelection possibilities. It’s hard to run for reelection when you just voted to knock 20 million people off of the insurance rolls.

Over the next few days and weeks, we’re going to hear about the Republicans proposals, the Congressional Budget Office will score the proposals and the Democrats will try to scare you. By the way, they’ll try to scare you in the same manner the Republicans tried to scare you eight years ago.

Do you remember “death panels?” Right.

So I encourage each of you — whether you were cheering about this new legislation or whether you fear it — to take a deep breath, dig into the legislation and don’t simply believe what you hear on MSNBC or Fox News.

Do the homework on your own and make an informed decision on whether or not to support this legislation.

Then call your elected officials and let them know what you think.

Michael Russell

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Do your homework and let Congress know what you think of GOP health care bill