Anne Barounos: Thanks governors Hickenlooper, Kasich | SteamboatToday.com

Anne Barounos: Thanks governors Hickenlooper, Kasich

We owe our own Gov. Hickenlooper, a Democrat, and Ohio Gov. Kasich, a Republican, a big “thank you” for working together to develop a plan to preserve health care for millions.

Their bipartisan proposal presented to the Congressional leadership is by no means a complete cure, but it would be a big step forward if Congress would only listen. Their plan is quite comprehensive and would repair many of the problems with the Affordable Care Act.

As Gov. Hickenlooper told the Denver Post, "We are not trying to start a revolution here. These are very cautious, pragmatic efforts to maintain the stability of the individual market, which will almost certainly reduce premiums (and) which will almost certainly expand coverage."

We need three things to happen quickly. First, Congress must act to stabilize the individual markets so insurers can know what to expect when they set their rates for 2018. The date to finalize rates has been moved to September but the insurers and the pubic cannot keep waiting.

Secondly, Congress needs to return to regular order. It needs to develop whatever bill comes up for a vote through the appropriate committees. It needs to solicit testimony from the experts and engage in a thoughtful bipartisan debate.

And third, the Department of Human Services and the White House need to stop their determined efforts to undermine the ACA through deregulation and executive orders. We don't care what they call it; Ryan Care, McConnell Care or even Trump Care. We care that people have affordable health care including Medicaid, Medicare, the CHIP program for the kids, etc.

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Please thank Gov. Hickenlooper, Gov. Kasich and the governors of Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Alaska, Montana and Louisiana who signed on the proposal. And ask our Senators and Representative to pay attention to the governors and move ahead to protect our health care. To call them: Senator Bennet, 970-241-6631; Senator Gardner, 970-245-9553; Rep. Tipton 970-241-2499.

Anne Barounos

Steamboat Springs

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