Health Care

Kent County News - - OPINION -

To the ed­i­tor: Con­gress­man Andy Har­ris is mis­lead­ing Dis­trict 1 vot­ers once again.

In a Bal­ti­more Sun ar­ti­cle by An­drea McDaniel (“Mil­lions in Mary­land could lose health ben­e­fits be­cause of the Feds’ Oba­macare stance”), Har­ris says he “dis­agrees with the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s de­ci­sion not to de­fend the pro­tec­tions” for pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions.

Well that’s a sur­prise. Since the Af­ford­able Care Act, of­ten called Oba­macare, passed in 2010, con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans have voted over 60 times to re­peal or re­place it. The ACA es­tab­lished pro­tec­tions for peo­ple with pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions. Ev­ery Repub­li­can re­peal/ re­place bill would have elim­i­nated those pro­tec­tions as well as laws lim­it­ing premium costs for women and older peo­ple. Har­ris has voted for re­peal/re­place at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity. A Texas law­suit is an­other at­tempt to de­clare the ACA un­con­sti­tu­tional, thereby elim­i­nat­ing pro­tec­tions for women, older peo­ple and peo­ple with pre­ex­ist­ing con­di­tions.

With an elec­tion only weeks away, Con­gress­man Har­ris wants vot­ers to think he’s pro­tect­ing his con­stituents who have pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions. To sup­port that com­pletely false claim, he cites the rein­sur­ance bill passed last year by the Mary­land leg­is­la­ture to help in­sur­ance com­pa­nies bear the costs of cov­er­ing pre­ex­ist­ing con­di­tions.

Har­ris can­not hon­estly cover up his anti-health care votes that way for two rea­sons.

The Mary­land rein­sur­ance pro­gram was cre­ated and voted on at the Mary­land Gen­eral Assem­bly. With the rest of the Mary­land del­e­ga­tion, Har­ris did sign a let­ter re­quest­ing that the De­part­ments of Trea­sury and Health and Hu­man Ser­vices al­low Mary­land to im­ple­ment the rein­sur­ance pro­gram. How­ever, Har­ris had noth­ing to do with cre­at­ing it.

The Demo­cratic ma­jor­ity in the Gen­eral Assem­bly wrote, sup­ported and passed it. Repub­li­can Gov. Larry Ho­gan signed it only be­cause he knew he had to. If the Texas law­suit ren­ders the ACA un­con­sti­tu­tional, peo­ple in Mary­land will be to­tal- ly with­out pro­tec­tions. With­out the state rein­sur­ance law, Mary­land in­sur­ance mar­kets would be thrown into chaos. Thou­sands of peo­ple would lose their in­sur­ance or find it un­af­ford­able. Ho­gan de­serves some, but not much credit for sign­ing the bill. Har­ris? Less.

Mary­land’s 1st Dis­trict vot­ers have a choice Nov. 6. They can elect Jesse Colvin, who sup­ports the Af­ford­able Care Act and has pro­posed strength­en­ing it by al­low­ing ev­ery­one to buy into Medi­care as one op­tion for health in­sur­ance. Un­like Har­ris, Colvin ac­tu­ally does want to cover peo­ple with pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions. As a vet­eran and a new fa­ther, he knows what kind of health care our veter­ans and their fam­i­lies need.

Har­ris’s con­stituents no longer have to lis­ten to him dis­hon­estly say­ing he sup­ports them while he votes to take away their heath care. They can vote him out. Linda Cades Kennedyville

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