Letter: Praise McHenry For AHCA

The people of the 10th District and the country at large owe a big debt of gratitude to Congressman McHenry for his role in the passage of the AHCA by the House. While there is credit to go to Speaker Ryan for corralling moderate Republicans, Mark Meadows for bringing home the Freedom Caucus, and President Trump for closing the deal it is the whip team that makes the call when the bill is set to pass.

Thanks to McHenry’s diligence the bill passed with one vote to spare, 217-213, meaning that Obamacare’s days are numbered.

Much has been written about the AHCA and its implications for Americans, some of it false.

First the bill does not strip away people’s coverage based on a preexisting condition. It allows for states to apply for a waiver to Obamacare’s onerous community rating requirement.

This requirement forces insurance companies to cover circumstances largely inapplicable to people’s circumstances, including coverage for birth control to 60-year-old women.

And an insurance company can’t force people with preexisting conditions to pay more unless their coverage has lapsed for more than 62 days. Obamacare has entered its death spiral, and McHenry and his fellow Republicans are to be commended for their work to repeal and replace it with a system that works.

Just last week Iowa’s biggest insurer stated its intent to pull out of the state’s marketplace, leaving 93 out of 99 counties with only a single insurance provider. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Maryland has requested a 59% premium hike for next year, and it’s Virginia affiliate is calling for a 35% hike. The continued premium spikes year to year are unsustainable, and the average deductible for the cheapest Obamacare plan is $6,000.

This must end, and I’m grateful to Congressman McHenry and his House colleagues that voted to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Obama and the Democrats left a mess in the healthcare industry that President Trump has vowed to clean up.

The Democrats will cry for single payer, conveniently omitting that single payer crashed and burned in Bernie Sanders’ home state of Vermont. Congressman McHenry still has much work ahead as the Senate will be debating the AHCA and sending over their version for another House vote. But as promised McHenry is helping to deliver the end of Obamacare with a return to free market principles. Promises made, promises kept.

Carlton Huffman, Granite Falls

Published in the print version of the Hickory Daily Record on Thursday, May 18th 2017.