Donald Trump, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and the Republican Congress have been floating a repeal and replace strategy for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a physician assistant working in family practice and urgent care for the past 17 years, I have been on the front lines of providing care for patients before and after enactment of the ACA.
Since the ACA took effect I have daily seen patients who finally got health insurance to treat their chronic and acute medical problems. Before the ACA, these patients waited until a crisis occurred and went to the ER, which often saddled them with debt leading to financial ruin.
The ACA has covered over 20 million uninsured Americans including 750,000 Washingtonians. It has also fueled growth of health care jobs in Spokane. The ACA includes the following:
1. No restrictions for pre-existing medical conditions 2. Child coverage until age 26. 3. 50+ employee companies must provide health insurance. 4. Low income subsidies. 5. Coverage for preventive services, pregnancy and emergency care. 6. Justification for rate increases greater than 10 percent.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers should act responsibly and keep the ACA in place until a viable replacement law with the above safeguards passes.