Letter: High-risk patients have a lot to lose with health care repeal

To the editor:

I’m a cancer survivor. When we moved back home to Indiana, I called an insurance company to ask about my options. Their representative laughed at me and said, “Why should we insure you?”

Why would we want to go back to those days? I finally got coverage through the high risk pool — one of the ideas Congress has for people with pre-exisiting conditions. They’ve been tried, and don’t work. They are expensive. My husband and I paid $14,000 for our coverage six years ago. Because we had to have two polices, his deductible was $5,000 and mine was $3,000.

Since the state picks up most of the cost, they end up capping how many people they let into the pool. Only 12,000 people were in Florida’s high risk pool just before the Affordable Care Act was enacted — a drop in the bucket compared to the need.

Politicians promise to set aside money to pay for the program, but if it’s not in a law, like Medicare, they can change the rules. All replacement plans make people pay more. Speaker Paul Ryan calls it “more skin in the game.”

While the ACA has problems, they can be fixed. Congress wants you to forget that Americans making over $200,000 a year will get a 3.8 percent tax cut when it’s repealed — the richest 400 families alone get back $2.8 billion while the rest of us may not get the treatment we need to live.

Nancy Hutchens