Sunday, October 18, 2020

Opinion: Trump’s ACA Attacks Would Devastate Arizona’s Communities

Posted By on Sun, Oct 18, 2020 at 1:08 PM

Amanda Aguirre: "If Trump and Republicans have their way, - the Supreme Court will decide to rip away health care from 363,000 Arizonans and strip away protections from 2.8 million people in Arizona with preexisting conditions."
  • Amanda Aguirre: "If Trump and Republicans have their way,the Supreme Court will decide to rip away health care from 363,000 Arizonans and strip away protections from 2.8 million people in Arizona with preexisting conditions."

For months now, we here in Arizona have said that health care is on the ballot this November—and that is even more true today than it was six months ago when this pandemic began.

The dual public health and economic crises from the coronavirus have raised the stakes even higher when it comes to the importance of having quality, affordable health care coverage,  especially in our rural and border communities.

As someone who has worked in public health for 35 years, I know how important it is for working families across Arizona to have the peace of mind that comes with quality, affordable health care coverage.

So when I see Donald Trump and the Republican Party try to rush through a Supreme Court appointment just to overturn the Affordable Care Act, especially in the middle of a pandemic, I am as confused as I am horrified. Why fight to undermine something that has benefitted so many people?

The Affordable Care Act helped more than 400,000 people in Arizona gain coverage and led to a 42 percent reduction in the uninsured rate.

But if Trump and Republicans have their way, the Supreme Court will decide to rip away health care from 363,000 Arizonans and strip away protections from 2.8 million people in Arizona with preexisting conditions. To make matters worse, overturning the ACA would jeopardize protections for people with pre-existing conditions at a time when complications from COVID-19, like lung scarring and heart damage, could become the next deniable pre-existing condition.

By continuing his crusade to dismantle the ACA, Trump is gutting the protections that so many Arizonans families in our rural, border, and foothills communities depend on. We have worked so hard over the last several years to create a safety net infrastructure among our communities in Arizona with critical access hospitals, rural health clinics, and our community hospitals.

We can’t let Trump undo the progress we’ve made. Arizonans deserve so much better. We need leaders who will fight to protect our care and put working families first. That’s Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will protect and build on the Affordable Care Act to give Americans more choice, reduce health care costs, and make our health care system less complex. This will greatly benefit families in our border and rural communities who depend on the ACA to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy.

Biden and Harris also have a plan to help rural, border, and foothills communities like ours across Arizona meet the pressing health challenges they are faced with. When elected, Joe and Kamala will adequately fund our rural hospitals, double funding for community health centers, and help build new clinics and deploy telehealth in rural communities.

These common-sense solutions will help our neighbors and families stay healthy, especially as we continue to battle COVID-19.

We can’t afford four more years of attacks on our health care. I’ve seen the faces, I’ve seen the devastation, I’ve seen the work that my doctors do every day to save lives. Dismantling the Affordable Care Act and ripping away health care coverage is not an option. We cannot let it happen—and that starts with voting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris this November.

Former Arizona State Senator Amanda Aguirre presently serves in the capacity of President & CEO of the Regional Center for Border Health, Inc. since 1991 and its subsidiary San Luis Walk-In Clinic, Inc., a primary care rural health medical center. Ms. Aguirre has been involved for more than 35 years in health care and business administration.

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