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When I heard of the horrific shooting of Congressman Scalise, my heart sank. He and his Republican colleagues were preparing for a bipartisan baseball game, a collegial ritual that we desperately need more of in Washington. Capitol police, emergency personnel and hospital workers were heroic, and their brave and decisive actions thankfully saved the congressman's life.

But the real hero for the congressman and his family will be his health insurance. It was the essential health benefits guaranteed by the ACA that will pay for the ER visit, and for the surgical team that was working around the clock to save his leg and his vital organs.

It is his insurance coverage that will make sure his hospital stay is paid for. It is his insurance that will cover his rehab, both physical and behavioral health services to allow the congressman to get back to where he was before this awful event.

It’s his insurance that will help the congressman afford the outpatient medication that will treat his pain, and save his body from future infection, and will cover any adaptive medical equipment he may need. And it is the ban on annual and lifetime caps that will prevent him from unpaid hospital bills that will undoubtedly reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Sadly, if the AHCA is passed, tens of millions of patients with insurance will lose the essential health benefits and patient protections that will save them in a medical tragedy from illness, preventable death and bankruptcy. Furthermore, 23 million Americans will lose their insurance altogether.

Tarik S. Khan

Family nurse practitioner,

Abbottsford Falls Family Practice,

Philadelphia

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