March 22, 2017
Candidate for CA CD-48 Argues it’s Time to Finally Ensure that Healthcare Coverage is a Right for Every American
LAGUNA BEACH, CA- In response to the shocking CBO report that 24 million Americans are poised to lose their health insurance as a result of the Health Care Choice Act of 2017, today businessman Harley Rouda published an editorial blasting the plan coming from House Republicans. Rouda is running to represent California’s 48th Congressional District.
The editorial can be found at https://medium.com/@harley_
Time to finally ensure that healthcare coverage is a right for every American
“Congressional Republicans finally released their long-awaited plan to replace the Affordable Care Act and it’s even more of a disaster than anticipated, being panned by experts across party lines. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s independent analysis, about 24 million Americans will lose their healthcare coverage by 2026 if this legislation is passed, nearly doubling the rate of uninsured people.
The proposal cuts the available ACA subsidies in half and restructures them based solely on age, eliminating any consideration of income when distributing tax credits. Additionally, under this plan, insurance companies would be able to charge older consumers five times more than younger consumers and enables them to reduce the types of medical expenses covered in their plans.
The proposed bill would also dismantle Medicaid as we know it, while phasing out the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion that provided so many previously uninsured people with quality healthcare coverage for the first time. We need to protect Medicaid, not leaving the poor and working families forced to choose between paying their mortgage, for their child’s education or for their healthcare.
Despite the administration’s constant promises that no one will lose their coverage, the most marginalized Americans will be the hardest hit by this devastating plan, including unemployed people, working class Americans, the elderly, disabled people, and women. It’s completely backwards and nonsensical to create a healthcare system where the more help you need from the government, the less you get. In Orange County, residents above the age of 60 will get 39% less in healthcare subsidies – about $2,500 less per year.
In many ways, this legislation is not just a healthcare bill, but functions as a massive redistribution of wealth to the richest Americans in the form of hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts to the wealthy. Champions of this plan deceitfully position their proposal as a way to promote freedom in the marketplace, but creating a system where working class and elderly Americans are unable to access affordable healthcare coverage is not a real form of choice.
At the same time, this healthcare proposal is a direct attack on women’s reproductive rights. The plan includes a provision that would prevent Medicaid patients from using their insurance to get treated at Planned Parenthood. As the largest provider of reproductive health in the country, Planned Parenthood provides a wide variety of low-cost preventative care, cancer screenings, and other vital services. Many areas don’t have the medical infrastructure to replace these services, leaving low-income women to fend for themselves.
In addition to dismantling Planned Parenthood, an incredibly important organization that millions of Americans depend on every day, a provision in the House GOP plan prohibits subsidies from being spent on plans that cover abortion, which would make virtually every healthcare plan in California ineligible for the proposed tax credits.
While some representatives in Washington, like Dana Rohrabacher, have punted on taking a position on the legislation, Americans are luckily catching on to this ruse put forth by House Republicans. According to a recent poll from the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, about half the country understands that the GOP plan will increase the number of uninsured and raise prices for consumers who have to buy coverage on their own. While Paul Ryan admitted on Wednesday that the current plan’s structure must change to pass the House, it is unclear how they will amend the legislation.
Despite some obvious problems with the ACA, like its impact on small businesses or rising premiums, it’s undeniable that President Obama’s landmark reform has done some groundbreaking and amazing things for people in need, both in terms of expanding critical health care coverage and lowering cost for most Americans. Just in the 48th Congressional District, 76,899 residents have received healthcare coverage through Covered California and the Medicaid expansion, according to Health Access.
Ultimately, our nation’s healthcare system reflects how we treat each other in times of need and millions of Americans lives are at stake. We need to join the rest of the advanced world and finally ensure that healthcare coverage is a right for every American.
In the meantime, members of Congress need to have a real conversation about ways to improve upon our existing healthcare system, not to completely dismantle it and throw millions of people off their current healthcare coverage. Healthcare cannot continue to be treated as a hyper-partisan political game, and we need to work together to find common sense reforms that increase the level of provided care and lower the costs for our most vulnerable people.”
Today’s editorial comes on the heels of news last week that Rouda hauled in a sizable $100,000 in independent donations in a mere 12 days; garnered endorsements from the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council 36, former Orange County Democratic Party Chair Frank Barbaro, former California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, Laguna Beach Democratic Club President Dr. Gary LeFebvre* and Laguna Beach Mayor Toni Iseman; and also rolled out his first online video, titled “Clean House.” Additionally, Rouda‘s unveiled his initial agenda items for what he plans to address in Washington.
Just last week, Rouda released his first online video, titled, “Clean House,” highlighting the stark contrast between incumbent Congressman Dana Rohrabacher versus Rouda’s
Rouda announced his campaign less than three weeks ago. Recently, he spoke to a crowd of over 600 grassroots activists at an event organized by local Democratic Clubs and the Orange County Democratic Party. To view his remarks, please visit his Facebook page here and scroll down to his Facebook live coverage from the event.
Harley Rouda is a successful businessman who has created several successful companies, and now serves on the board of numerous companies in a variety of industries. Rouda received an MBA from The Ohio State University, and a J.D. from Capital University Law School. He lives in Laguna Beach, with his wife Kaira Rouda, a bestselling author. They have four children.
Active in numerous charities and civic organizations over the years, Harley has been involved in fighting homelessness and domestic violence; active with Human Rights Watch; supporting education for the disadvantaged as well as supporting access to higher education; saving military jobs; and working with civic organizations to drive economic development.
The 48th Congressional District is considered a ripe pickup opportunity for Democrats, as Hillary Clinton won the district by 2%. The district is seen as all the more winnable given that Rohrabacher is an unabashed supporter of Russia’s Putin, and is one of Donald Trump’s closest allies in Congress. The 48th Congressional district also had one of the largest swings of any Congressional district in the country from 2012 to 2016, with more than 13 percentage points at the presidential level shifting to Democratic.