Letter to the editor: Protect health care

To the editor:

I attended a town hall meeting hosted by Sen. Jerry Moran in Frankfort last week. I was glad to have a chance to listen to his thoughts about possible changes to the current health care law and to share some of my own.

I hear a lot in the current debate about repealing the individual mandate, the rule that requires people to have health insurance just as car owners are required to have auto insurance. Repealing the individual mandate would significantly weaken the individual insurance market and lead to higher premiums with fewer choices and more uninsured Americans. According to the Congressional Budget Office, eliminating the insurance requirement would lead to 13 million more Americans being uninsured by 2027 and would increase premiums by about 10 percent each year.

My close relative is fighting cancer right now, and I am very concerned about the future of her health insurance. She will have a pre-existing condition for the rest of her life. She can’t afford to be grouped into a high-risk plan with only high-cost patients, and honestly, that’s not the purpose of insurance. Insurance is about sharing risk across a broad population so that everyone can get the care they need at a price they can afford.

On behalf of all Americans affected by cancer, I urge Jerry Moran to vote “No” on health care repeal in the tax bill and take strong, bipartisan steps — like those laid out by Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash. — to strengthen, rather than weaken, our health care system.