Radio Address: When health care is under attack, we must stand up and fight back.
Health care is a basic human right. It’s about the freedom of people to lead healthy, happy and productive lives. It’s about the right of people to have control over their own lives and futures. So when the health of Americans is under attack, we must stand up, come together and fight back.
Hello, this is Senate President Troy Jackson of Allagash. Thanks for tuning in.
Over the past two years, we’ve witnessed a series of concerted efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and undermine the health and well-being of millions of Americans. The latest ruling from the judge out of Texas is no different. It’s wrong and people deserve better.
I’ll be the first to admit that the Affordable Care Act has some flaws. But it’s been instrumental in expanding access to health care coverage for the previously uninsured and improving the overall quality of health insurance plans for everyone. If anything, we should be working to improve our health care system to lower the cost of prescription drugs and outrageous premiums.
The reality is that the people who are making decisions about our health care are completely out of touch. Many of them don’t know what it’s like to go through life without health insurance. They don’t know what it’s like to not be able to afford your medication. They don’t know what it’s like to try to find and find a reasonably-priced plan that covers a pre-existing condition.
Yet, these very same people feel empowered to vote or rule against access to care and patient protections. They side with big insurance and pharmaceutical companies over people when they are supposed to be representing you.
When I took the rostrum for the first time as Senate President, I said health care was one of my top priorities this session. I vowed to work with my colleagues to lower costs, improve access and strengthen coverage. And I meant it.
Right now, the Affordable Care Act will remain in effect as the decision is appealed. While we await the fate of our health care system, I certainly don’t intend to stand around and do nothing.
Last week, I filed legislation to make sure Maine law covers patient protections included in the ACA. If the ACA goes away, Mainers can rest assured that the patient protections will remain. This means no insurance company can discriminate against Mainers with preexisting conditions. This means essential health benefits, such as ambulance services, prescription drugs and pediatric care, will still be covered. This means young adults can remain on their parents’ health insurance plans until age 26.
That is the least we can do.
The lack of quality, affordable health care prevents people from fully living their lives. It hinders their participation in our communities and in our economy. I said that health care was my top priority coming into the next legislative session. I’m not going anywhere and I’m certainly not backing down.
This is Senate President Troy Jackson. Thank you for listening.