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OPINION

LETTER: ACA needs to be protected

Pennsylvania

On Friday my colleagues and I breathed a deep sigh of relief when President Donald Trump was unable to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). As family nurse practitioners, our patients have been the recipients of the benefits of the ACA.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., announces that he is abruptly pulling the troubled Republican health care overhaul bill off the House floor, short of votes and eager to avoid a humiliating defeat for President Donald Trump and GOP leaders, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, March 24, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The 2010 law allowed our Pennsylvania health center to dramatically lower our rate of uninsured folks from 25 percent down to under 10 percent, and gave us the ability to expand our practice to include more primary care providers, more nurses, more medical assistants, and even add a pain management specialist.

With TrumpCare, experts estimated that the uninsured rate would have gone back to pre-ACA levels or worse, and those who lost their health insurance would have been unlikely to become reinsured. TrumpCare’s nearly $1 billion cut to Medicaid would have been an assault on individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, since they are people who commonly rely on Medicaid for their coverage. Also, over 3 million children would have lost care, premiums and deductibles would have skyrocketed for most groups, in particular seniors, and thousands of preventable American deaths would have occurred each year.

Although Trump claims that he is moving on from health care, we still must be vigilant in protecting the ACA. Republicans remain in control of both legislative branches of our government and the White House.

While the ACA has already covered over 20 million Americans and has made health care better, more accessible, and less expensive, we still have room to improve. While Republicans, Democrats, and Independents may differ on how we can accomplish making care even more affordable and attainable, we must continue to fight and resist any attempt to weaken the secure healthcare system we already have.

TARIK KHAN

Philadelphia