Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wyoming Democrats respond to Rep. Cynthia Lummis's comments about the Affordable Care Act

This was posted on the Wyoming Democratic Party web site today:
Yesterday during a hearing about the Affordable Care Act in the House Oversight Committee, Wyoming Representative Cynthia Lummis suggested that issues enrolling in the Affordable Care Act were partly to blame for her husband’s death.  
The following is a response from Pinedale's Ana Cuprill, Chairwoman of the Wyoming Democratic Party: 
“Wyoming's Code of the West reminds us to be “tough, but fair” and to “know where to draw the line.” Representative Lummis missed the mark on both accounts yesterday. Rep. Lummis voted more than 50 times with her Republican colleagues to repeal Obamacare. The real consequence of those votes is time and effort wasted by the administration defending the law instead of addressing “glitches” that would make the process of enrolling go more smoothly. I will agree with Rep. Lummis that there is no time to be glib about the problems with healthcare. Now is the time to find solutions that will have real impact on people's lives. While we are sorry for the tragic loss of Rep. Lummis’ husband, we are glad for the thousands of people in Wyoming and millions of Americans with access to quality, affordable care. We’re relieved for families who no longer face bankruptcy, can’t be dropped from coverage when they get sick and don’t face lifetime maximums when a sick child needs care. We’re still concerned for the thousands of people in Wyoming who make important health decisions based not on the best available care, but whether or not they can afford to have any care at all. We believe using her truly unfortunate situation to attack the Affordable Care Act was disingenuous and call on our Congresswoman to join us in finding ways to improve the Affordable Care Act."
Well said, Ana Cuprill. And amen.

1 comment:

Richard said...

I was Lummis's Democratic opponent. I am sorry for her loss, of course.

I told my own Obamacare story during the campaign. I am 63 years old and am not covered by my college adjunct teaching jobs. Before the ACA, I paid about $230 a month for a policy that was basically catastrophic care. It paid for essentially nothing. Luckily I am healthy. An appointment with a physician assistant in which he did nothing but talk to me and renew my existing prescriptions cost me $240 for the 15-minute visit because the insurance paid nothing. I just stopped taking the medications after that visit.

Under the ACA, I signed up for a silver policy, a PPO that cost me, with subsidies, about $160 a month. An appointment with another doctor in my town, where I was seen by a nurse practitioner who renewed some of my old prescriptions, cost me a $5 co-pay. The medications, previously subject only to a 10% discount because the old policy didn't have prescription benefits per se, went from as high as $75 a month to $3 a month. The previous year I was told I needed a leg brace, but since the old policy covered nothing, I waited until I was covered by Obamacare, and it paid about $500 of the $1,000 cost of the leg brace.

Ms. Lummis's husband's tragic death cannot be blamed on lack of insurance. Ms. Lummis's net worth has been estimated at about $20 million. She comes from a wealthy landowning Wyoming family and can afford the best insurance and health care.

Those of us, like me, her hopeless Democratic opponent who spent no money on the campaign and got only 23% of the vote (her last two Democratic opponents got 24% each, so I guess I didn't too badly), who cannot afford good insurance on our own are grateful for Obamacare.

I didn't run from the ACA; I trumpeted my support and I bless Obama and the Democrats for passing it. (See my videos on YouTube called "Wyoming Candidate 4 Congress Supports Obamacare" and "Wyoming Congresswoman to Poor People: Drop Dead!")

That's part of the reason I ran for Congress on the Democratic ticket when no one else in Wyoming would: to give those who favor the ACA to have someone to vote for, as Ms. Lummis and the Constitution and Libertarian party candidates all want to kill it.

I will be eligible for Medicare in less than a year and a half so I will have to get off Obamacare. Ms. Lummis's husband was 65 and so he was covered by Medicare and so Obamacare had nothing to do with his health insurance. Of course Ms. Lummis wants to end Medicare as it is now.

I feel it is demeaning to the memory of loved one to politicize that person's tragic death, but then I am not a politician, as the Wyoming election returns showed. Enough said.