To the editor:
An open letter to U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ):
Since 2010, you have voted more than 60 times to defund the Affordable Care Act, toeing the Republican line that the ACA, also known as "ObamaCare," must be "Repealed and Replaced."
More recently, you have taken to using the "Repeal and Repair" verbiage that the GOP adopted at its Philadelphia retreat in late January this year.
In the end, however, it appears that "repair" is nothing more than a rebranding of what your colleagues have wanted to do all along. In fact, in a Feb. 2 interview on Fox and Friends, Speaker Paul Ryan, seeking to clarify "repair" said, "To repair the American health-care system, you have to repeal and replace this law, and that's what we're doing."
In a more recent early morning series of statements he made on Twitter, Vice President Pence tweeted the following:
- The ObamaCare nightmare is about to end. Despite the best efforts of liberal activists, Americans know better: ObamaCare must go.
- We're going to repeal ObamaCare once and for all, and eliminate its mandates, taxes, and intrusion into your businesses and lives.
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That doesn't sound like "repair" to us, but rather what your colleagues and then-candidate and now President Donald Trump have been advocating for all along - a wholesale scrapping of the Affordable Care Act and its protections to the American people, a majority of whom now support the ACA according to the latest polls (48-percent in favor, 42-percent opposed, according to Kaiser Family Foundation; 54-percent in favor versus 43-percent opposed according to Pew Research Center), despite what the vice president implies.
Here in District 7, between 2013 and 2015 alone, there was a reduction of nearly 20,000 people without health insurance, thanks to the ACA. While 20,000 people represents only 3-percent of the district's population, more importantly, it represents 20,000 lives.
We've heard plenty of anecdotes from people whose health issues would have caused bankruptcy and, in some cases death, without the financial assistance and consumer protections afforded through the ACA.
One of those stories, shared by a constituent with a life-threatening illness at your Feb. 25 Town Hall, was extraordinarily compelling.
Beginning next year, we ourselves will need to purchase insurance in the individual private marketplace. We are also among many (up to 50-percent of the nation's population under age 65) with pre-existing conditions.
Without a continued ban on overcharging or denying coverage for pre-existing conditions and ban on annual/life-time caps, we could face unmanageable costs - and worse.
So, Congressman, we ask you: Do you support the all-out repeal and replace strategy, as your past voting record would indicate? Or, rather, are you willing to lead by advocating for slowing down the rush to repeal and working with Democrats on a well thought out, bi-partisan solution that improves, not repeals/replaces, the ACA?
And will you ensure that no coverage and consumer protections your constituents currently have under the ACA will be reduced or eliminated because of your vote?
We look forward to your response.
To the editor:
After hearing U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) speak at his town hall meeting on Wednesday night, it appears that he is in favor of keeping many of the protections that the ACA affords us.
He also said that he favors strengthening the areas he views as deficient.
One of the areas he noted needed strengthening is the dwindling number of private insurance companies offering plans through the ACA.
A simple solution would be to offer a proven, workable, popular medical option within the ACA. That plan already exists ... Medicare. Can we not just remove the age 65 qualifier and allow all Americans to sign up if they so choose? This seems to me an easy straightforward solution.
West Amwell Twp
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