As a pediatrician at the University of Kentucky, I care for some of the most vulnerable families in the state, many of whom will be among those most affected by changes in the health care law.
I recently attended a Lexington Medical Society dinner to ask U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, the keynote speaker, if he would ensure that these families can retain their coverage under the American Health Care Act. I also pointed out that the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly opposes the AHCA.
Barr told me, in a room of more 100 physicians, that none of my patients would lose their insurance or face higher premiums if the AHCA becomes law. But the CBO report estimates that 23 million fewer Americans will have health care by 2020 under the AHCA, and premiums are expected to be more expensive than they would be under current law. Patients with pre-existing conditions are expected to face the largest increase in premiums and greatest likelihood of losing coverage.
If Barr believes government should spend less on health care, he should make that case so we can have an informed debate. By lying to us — claiming that the law will protect vulnerable Americans when it very clearly doesn’t — he displays a lack of respect for voters.
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Dr. Miriam Behaar