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Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

I am a Methodist pas­tor and my wife is a med­i­cal res­i­dent at UAMS here in Lit­tle Rock. We both work with count­less peo­ple who will be af­fected by the Se­nate’s health-care bill (the Bet­ter Care Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Act, or BCRA).

One of the miss­ing groups at the leg­isla­tive ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble is peo­ple in­volved in the front lines of health-care de­liv­ery, namely doc­tors-in-train­ing. Res­i­dents like my wife treat pa­tients at lo­cal public hos­pi­tals ev­ery sin­gle day, and many of th­ese peo­ple will be harmed by this dis­as­trous bill. Even more Arkansans will be af­fected if the gov­ern­ment dereg­u­lates the in­sur­ance mar­ket and al­lows com­pa­nies to take away es­sen­tial health ben­e­fits.

Re­gard­less of whether some­one is on Med­i­caid or even has in­sur­ance of­fered by an em­ployer, it seems the BCRA will hurt Arkansans in or­der to give a tax cut to the wealthy.

We’ve tried to con­tact both Sen­a­tors Tom Cot­ton and John Booz­man, but nei­ther seem to be in­ter­ested in host­ing any town halls to ad­dress health care, or even re­spond with truth­ful com­ments. Nev­er­the­less, their staffers al­ways as­sure me that both “work with Arkansans ev­ery sin­gle day” (as if that will al­le­vi­ate worry).

When will they find the time to talk to peo­ple who will be af­fected by this bill?

Health care is an in­dus­try af­fect­ing ev­ery cit­i­zen and has a share of over one-sixth of the Amer­i­can econ­omy. Our sen­a­tors must col­lab­o­rate with peo­ple who know what health care truly means—med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als, in­stead of lob­by­ists and in­sur­ance CEOs.

BILLY McMA­HON

Cam­mack Vil­lage

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