Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland has joined mayors across the country in urging federal lawmakers to consider the consequences of repealing Obamacare.
As GOP legislators continue to discuss a repeal the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, mayors like Strickland are worried about the serious impact that losing healthcare coverage would have on millions of Americans. Strickland signed onto a bipartisan letter to Congressional leaders from the U.S. Conference of Mayors urging them to be mindful of the protections the ACA has provided to millions of Americans from the catastrophic cost of illness and accidents.
Addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the letter — now with 129 signatories — cites the ACA provisions that enjoy bipartisan support and should be retained.
Those include increased mental health and substance use disorder benefits; insuring children and young adults up to the age of 26; eliminating lifetime and annual limits; assuring eligibility for insurance coverage even with pre-existing conditions; guaranteeing coverage for pregnancy and breast cancer screenings; and providing coverage for preventive services at no additional cost.
“I signed on to this letter because Tacoma-Pierce County ranks in the top three counties in Washington State for ACA enrollment,’ said Strickland, who serves as a U.S. Conference of Mayors trustee. “We had over 400,000 people enroll in either a Qualified Health Plan or Apple Health Plan in 2016. Maintaining this coverage is crucial for the health needs and financial stability of individuals and families in our community.”
The letter also expresses strong opposition to efforts to convert Medicaid to block grants.