Phuong Nguyen, Dana Point

I urge Congressman Darrell Issa to oppose the American Health Care Act. At the last Town Hall, a question was raised about mental health coverage under the AHCA. Mr. Issa replied that it would not affect mental health parity as the AHCA preserves the essential health benefits that include requiring equal mental health coverage. While this is true for the plans sold in the individual marketplaces, the AHCA would still decimate mental health coverage because of its cuts to Medicaid. Medicaid is the biggest payer of mental health care in the U.S. Rolling back Medicaid would leave people who have a mental illness vulnerable to lapses in treatment that could devastate their lives and chances of recovery.

I feel strongly about this issue because not only do I work in the mental health field, but I myself was once a recipient of Medicaid. While I was unemployed and applying for jobs, Medicaid paid for my prescription antidepressants. I can attest to the extreme disruption to my life if I were to miss one dosage. Without continuous treatment, I most likely could not be a productive member of society today. Although I now receive health care benefits through my employer, I am concerned for the millions of Americans who would be affected by cuts to Medicaid.

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  • In 1991, Russo introduced H.R.1300, a Universal Healthcare Act, that would have provided physical and mental Heath coverage to every citizen. It was rejected thanks to the vast sums of money spent by the for-profit insurance industry. Hillary Clinton wrote an excellent health bill during her husbands first year, but it was DOA before the ink had had time to dry. Representative Conyers introduced his bill, H.R. 676, MEDICARE FOR ALL, during the 113th Congress, but it was DOA thanks to the Republican members of Congress.

    Right now we have a hodgepodge of private and public programs that cost us about 17% more annually than what other countries pay, and we get less in return, while leaving millions uninsured. Medicare for All would cost less while covering every citizens from birth to the grave. What would be wrong with that?

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