Over the last several years, people across the country including Madison have come to appreciate improving health care options. As the rate of uninsured individuals in Wisconsin decreased from 9.1% in 2013 to 5.7% in 2015, there is no doubt that the Affordable Care Act is helpful in making sure more people have access to health care.
Many of us are very concerned about a future where health care access is worsened rather than improved. Repealing, replacing, or otherwise altering the Affordable Care Act, (ACA) otherwise known as Obamacare, could create massive confusion and gaps in coverage. Additionally, changing BadgerCare, Medicaid, and Medicare programs will hurt our most vulnerable groups including children and seniors. This is unacceptable.
Studies from the Congressional Budget Office and non-partisan groups show that more than 30 million Americans will lose their coverage if the ACA is repealed without a replacement. In Dane County, about 16,500 residents participated in the ACA in 2016 and will lose their health care if it was repealed.
While the current health care system is not perfect, thousands of families in Madison and Dane County are pleased with the coverage they receive. It has enabled families to access much-needed healthcare despite their age or pre-existing conditions.
Decisions made in government have real-world impacts. Our health and well being cannot be put at risk based on stubborn ideological views or the promise of false budget savings. Reforms to the Affordable Care Act should make health care more affordable and accessible, not put it out of reach.
Congress should be working to improve the Affordable Care Act not dismantle it, which would only undermine the health of millions of Americans.
The people of Madison deserve to know how they're going to keep their families healthy. As Mayor, I'm calling on our representatives in Congress, as should you, to be part of creating a healthcare plan that lowers costs and expands access. We deserve nothing less and we are counting on Congress to get this right.