With D.C. Republicans’ bid to dismantle the Affordable Care Act dead (for now), Washington state’s insurance commissioner has issued a statement urging lawmakers to pursue the right reforms to the nation’s health care laws.
“Like many of us, I watched as the U.S. Senate failed in its third attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” said Mike Kreidler, Washington insurance commissioner. “This is good news for Americans and for the citizens of Washington state. Up to 24 million people – 700,000 in Washington – were at risk of losing their health insurance under various congressional proposals.
“I remain concerned about what President Trump and Congress may continue to do to sabotage the current law. The president has repeatedly said that he wants the ACA to fail. No elected official should champion such an option. Millions of people depend on a strong and stable health care system.
“I again urge Congress to work in a bipartisan manner to improve the current law to help people better afford their coverage. I urge them to tackle rising out-of-pocket costs for medical services and the surging prices of prescription drugs.
“They should do so in the light of day, engaging the public in the process.
“The ACA is not perfect. Just like every other major legislation it needs improvement. We must come together to stabilize markets. The individual mandate to buy health insurance should remain in place. President Trump can do his part by making a firm and lasting commitment to authorize cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers. He needs to end his threats to withhold funding.
“Any future legislation that Congress constructs should provide coverage to more people, not less, improve benefits and help every state develop workable and lasting solutions for health care.”