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GOP health care plan would hurt sick people

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), center,

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), center, holds up a copy of the American Health Care Act during a news conference. Credit: Getty Images

GOP health care plan would hurt sick people

Reps. Peter King and Lee Zeldin voted for a health care bill that could cause some of their own constituents to die [“House OKs health care bill,” News, May 5].

The House Republicans’ promise was to offer health care that would lower premiums and deductibles and cover pre-existing conditions. President Donald Trump promised not to touch Medicaid. This bill does not seem likely to preserve it.

Instead, many Americans could lose insurance and be hurt. The bill would allow insurers to charge higher premiums if there is a gap in coverage, and it opens the door to yearly and lifetime caps on coverage. If you have cancer or diabetes, you might find health care unaffordable.

States would be able to seek waivers from services required under Obamacare, such as emergency services, hospitalization, mental health care, maternity care, preventive care and substance abuse treatment.

I was told by King’s office not to worry because New York State would not likely seek a waiver to opt out of essential benefits.

Do our representatives lack compassion for Americans in other states who might be harmed by this?

Renie McCarthy, Levittown


From the start of the recent health care debate, a promise has been repeated: the practice of discriminating against people with a pre-existing condition will not be allowed.

However, the American Health Care Act would renege on that promise. It would let states seek a waiver and allow companies to return to charging more for pre-existing conditions. This would usher in a patchwork health care system in which cancer patients could be priced out of the market.

States would also be allowed to waive the requirement that health coverage must include essential health benefits, leaving cancer patients and survivors with no guarantee that prevention services would be covered.

These moves could set back the clock to a time when people with conditions like cancer would essentially be denied coverage in certain states.

Shanawaj Khair,Stony Brook

Editor’s note: The writer is a volunteer with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network in Stony Brook.