Today constituents from Ohio’s 12th Congressional District delivered postcards on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to Rep. Pat Tiberi’s office and held a protest outside. The postcards included questions about the recently released Republican plan to replace the ACA and offered personal stories from constituents for whom the ACA has provided vital coverage.
Constituents organized and held a town hall meeting in February on the ACA. Rep. Tiberi was invited but chose to attend a fundraiser outside of his district instead. He has also ignored a petition with more than 1,800 signatures requesting a public forum on the ACA.
Dozens of postcards have been delivered to Tiberi’s office every week since the February town hall meeting. Today’s postcard delivery is the first since Republicans released their ACA replacement plan.
In a previous batch of postcards, one constituent shared: “My darling 13 year old granddaughter has Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes. My son, her father, works hard, and has health insurance for the family. Nevertheless, their out of pocket expenses for premiums, deductibles and copayments are $25,000. If the Affordable Care Act is repealed and my son changes jobs, my granddaughter will have no insurance.”
Several constituents have emphasized how critical the ACA has become for survival. One constituent noted in a postcard that a friend “is alive today because of the ACA. He had insurance, but he contracted a rare form of cancer. As soon as he got sick, his insurance company dropped. He was unable to find any insurance because of his pre-existing condition. Thanks to the ACA, he was able to get the treatment he needed. He is still fighting cancer and without the ACA he will die. Getting rid of the ACA will literally cost lives. Don’t repeal the ACA.”
Many constituents want details about the Republican ACA replacement plan.
One constituent asked: “What is your plan for the thousands who will lose insurance and who have pre-existing conditions?”
A small business owner noted that “the ACA is my family’s only access to healthcare. My question to you is: how will entrepreneurs and small business owners survive when you repeal the ACA?
Another constituent focused on Medicare: “Lucky for me I’m on Medicare now. But not the case for lots of friends and relatives. Why not Medicare for all?!”
One constituent asked about provisions for individuals who are unable to pay for health care under a new plan: “How do you intend to cover healthcare costs for the working poor?”
As the chair of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, Tiberi has been called upon by House Speaker Paul Ryan to “quarterback” the repeal and replacement of the ACA. But the newly released plan is facing criticism from both sides of the aisle.
Repealing the ACA before a new bill is ready could result in nearly one million Ohioans losing their health coverage, according to an Urban Institute study.