MIDDLETOWN, CONN., July 28, 2017-In the early morning hours, the U.S. Senate narrowly rejected the most recent proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, known as the “skinny repeal.” McCain (R-Arizona), who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer, casted the deciding vote.
“Putting politics aside, we are pleased to learn that people with chronic pain woke up the quality and accessibility of their health care still protected ,” said president and founder of U.S. Pain Foundation, Paul Gileno. “As an organization created by people with pain for people with pain, we were concerned about the far-reaching consequences of the bill.”
U.S. Pain Foundation has been tracking the progress of the repeal and replace movement, creating online engagement opportunities for its volunteers to email their members of Congress and share their pain story to help illustrate the importance of reliable, effective health insurance.
Among the concerns the organization expressed was the increased number of uninsured, given that chronic pain – which affects 100 million Americans – can strike at any time and result in enormous medical bills. U.S. Pain also said it opposed massive cuts to the Medicaid program; as individuals with severe chronic pain may have difficulty working due to their health and may rely on government assistance to afford insurance.
In addition, the organization was weary of the removal of the individual mandate, which would increase premium costs overall and the possibility of lower quality insurance if essential health benefits were eliminated. Finally, U.S. Pain staunchly disagreed with any proposals that included weakened protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
“We believe everyone deserves high-quality, affordable health insurance, especially people with chronic pain,” Gileno explained. “The ACA is not perfect, but it should be built upon, not torn apart.”
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