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Consider new health care bill on moral basis, says physician

Jun 20, 2017 Roger L. Gose, Riverton


The following was sent June 15 to both Sen. Enzi and Sen. Barrasso. I write this from the perspective of a retired physician, having practiced internal medicine in Fremont County (primarily Riverton) for the past 38 years. I am deeply concerned about the present Senate Bill (A.H.C.A.) being so quietly and rapidly constructed "behind closed doors," with no intent for public hearings, and with full intent to obtain passage before the July 4 recess.

1 would ask you to consider the impact of this bill on the health care of approximately 23 million Americans, largely people on the lower end of the economic scale, the most needy among us. The "savings" derived basically result in service to the most affluent among us in the form of tax breaks.

I have practiced in a blue-collar environment that includes a significant percentage of needy people whose health care and very lives would profit from Medicaid expansion. It is morally wrong in this most af@258;uent nation that people on the highest end of the economic spectrum live on average 15 years longer than people on the lowest end. Why? Because they have access and can afford high-quality health care.

As you probably know, every health care organization in the nation -- and in Wyoming, including the Wyoming Medical Society, the Wyoming Hospital Association, Wyoming Nurses Association -- all oppose this bill. With no hearings, these opposing voices will never be heard. Why no hearings?

I am told that this is the most unpopular piece of legislation ever to come before the U.S. Congress. According to estimates based on national polls, all states (whether Republican or Democratic) oppose the bill. In Wyoming 46 percent oppose, 34 percent support, with 20 percent undecided.

In essence, the Republican congressional majority has produced a rare unity among red and blue states: opposition to the A.H.C.A

Evidence shows that when politicians learn that a majority of their constituents oppose a bill, many representatives change their votes. If you, our senators, support this bill, I hope you will give that some thought, not because you fear ballot box outcome, but because it is the morally right thing to do.

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