Each time there is another threat to health care, Iowans have spoken out. Today in Iowa and across the country, small business owners, farmers, seniors, young people, veterans and other constituents are contacting Congressional offices to hold them, including Iowa Representatives Blum, Young and King accountable for these cruel and careless threats on our health and financial security.
“As a retired educator, veteran and small business owner, I know that I am one of the lucky ones. I receive my healthcare through Medicare and the VA and have always had exceptional results. Other self-employed Iowans aren’t so lucky. Instead of living the American Dream, they are drowning under health care costs, confusion and the volatile market. Representatives need to listen to their constituents and stop playing party politics with our lives,” said Ron Dinsdale of Huxley.
Since January 2017, a majority of Republicans in the House, including the three Iowa Republican members of Congress, and all Republicans in the Senate have voted to strip health care away from millions of Americans. The Main Street Alliance of Iowa is joining with other advocates, constituents, and consumers, to say: STOP sabotaging our health care. STOP playing politics with Iowans’ lives.
Main Street Alliance of Iowa member and family farmer Chris Petersen is calling on Congress “to act in the best interest of small businesses across the country and work on shoring up our health care system. The repeal of the ACA and gutting Medicaid will cause millions of people to lose insurance, many of them people like me.”
Under the Affordable Care Act between 2013 and 2015, the number of uninsured small business workers dropped by 4.1 million, the number of uninsured Iowans declined by 38 percent, and the uninsured rate among working Iowans declined 40 percent. Yet, Republicans have continued attempts to repeal and undermine the law to leave thousands of Iowans without access to affordable health insurance. More than 653,000 people are currently enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. By 2015, the number of non-elderly small business workers nationwide enrolled in Medicaid totaled more than 6 million.
“The ACA has been a lifeline for small business owners who have always struggled to obtain health care coverage,” Raygun store owner Mike Draper said. “To repeal it just when it is enabling self-employed Iowans to have coverage is a blow to small businesses everywhere.”
Research shows that Americans’ top issue is health care and they have resoundingly rejected Republicans’ approach. Iowans know that Republicans will not stop attempting to undermine our health care system, even though their sabotage has already resulted in 3.2 million Americans losing their coverage. Behind closed doors and without answering to their constituents, Republicans continue scheming to repeal and undermine the ACA, regardless of the impact it has on those they were elected to serve.
“When I opened my business, Popcorn Heaven, in 2014, I was grateful to have an affordable health insurance option for my employees. To go backwards with health care really doesn’t make sense,” commented Main Street Alliance National Leadership Team Member ReShonda Young of Waterloo. “Congress needs to work not on repealing, but actually fixing the parts that are broken and keeping those parts that are not.”
From the AHCA to BCRA, from Graham-Cassidy to “Skinny Repeal,” every attempt to repeal the ACA has included provisions that will raise health care premiums, deny access to health care for millions of Americans, and cause the collapse of the individual health insurance market.
The GOP betrayed their constituents’ trust by trading in Americans’ health care for tax cuts to wealthy corporations. Under the TrumpTax just passed by Republicans in Congress, 13 million Americans will lose their health coverage and insurance premiums will increase by 10 percent every year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
by Sue Dinsdale, Executive Director of Iowa Citizen Action Network