I had an opportunity to get to know Jesús through my work at Turner House Children’s Clinic. I was the board chair, and Jesús was a volunteer and a dad who brought his family to the clinic for medical care. Jesús is an incredibly hard-working Kansas dad who wants the best for his children.
Medicaid helped his children access high-quality medical care when he couldn’t afford it elsewhere. It has done the same for thousands of Kansans.
I can’t imagine what Rep. Kevin Yoder would say to thousands of Kansans like Jesús after his disastrous vote for Trumpcare, which makes devastating cuts to Medicaid.
This isn’t some theoretical debate. Roughly 212,100 Kansans, including 53,300 here in Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District, would lose their health care if this bill were to become law, and Kansans’ premiums would go up an average of $886. The age tax would result in seniors paying up to five times more than young people, just for being older.
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Health care providers will share the burden, incurring over $85 million in increased costs for uncompensated care in Kansas alone. If Trumpcare becomes law, hospitals and clinics will be shuttered, especially in rural areas, and Kansans will have fewer options for the health care they need.
Our elected officials have a responsibility to look out for our best interests. Yoder failed in his responsibility.
I’m running for Congress because this is personal. We can and we must do better. As the former president and chair of Turner House, a nonprofit pediatric clinic in Wyandotte County, I saw too many parents like Jesús worry about quality care for their children.
The Affordable Care Act isn’t perfect. But we took a great stride forward, and we simply cannot go back. Over 23 million people have health insurance who previously couldn’t afford to see a doctor, who faced the prospect of bankruptcy in the face of major illness or injury. Ripping that coverage away would be cruel and counterproductive.
While the Senate vote to reject the repeal of the Affordable Care Act was a step in the right direction, this fight is not done. President Donald Trump’s administration has said repeatedly it will continue its assault on health care for millions of Americans.
Congress must find ways to expand access to affordable health care and bring premiums down for everyone, not simply tear up the existing system. Jesús and his family should have access to affordable, quality health care. I’m shocked this is even an argument.
In Congress, I will protect the promises of Medicare and Medicaid and fight reckless cuts like those proposed in the Trumpcare legislation. I’ll put people ahead of politics and party leaders, and look after constituents’ interests, not special interests.
I will listen to the citizens of Kansas’ 3rd District, and I will seek to actually represent their interests and concerns.
Andrea Ramsey is running as a Democrat for the U.S. House in the 3rd Congressional District in Kansas.