Senate holds key to better health care insurance

Think of the House vote last week for The American Health Care Act as Step One of the nation’s health care reform.

Even as lawmakers representing our region helped push the repeal and replacement of Obamacare through the House by a 217-213 vote, questions about the bill’s details and jeering resistance abounded.

Are pre-existing conditions adequately covered in the new plan?

Will premiums actually be going down?

Is everyone covered, or will 24 million people be losing health care coverage, as has been feared?

Democrats who opposed the plan were adamant that the bill fails in all those major areas. They openly mocked passage of the bill and predicted it will cost Republican’s their House majority in mid-term elections next year. But Republicans insisted their office seats were made possible, in many cases, by constituents who have implored them to end Obamacare and improve health care coverage.

Congressman Tom Marino, a Cogan House Township Republican, a three-time cancer survivor whose father has Cystic Fibrosis, said the new plan meets the threshold for all the key improvements needed to the health care insurance system.

The most important step lies ahead, as the Senate undertakes the bill. Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, a Scranton Democrat, says the bill is a punch in the gut to middle-class families in Pennsylvania.

Instead of just knee-jerk resistance – the format Democrats have chosen in the first 100-plus days of the Trump administration – we implore Casey and other Democrat senators to join in the substantive input needed to improve the bill. He should make sure the questions we asked above are answered affirmatively and, if he has an open mind toward improving rather than defeating the measure, Republicans should hear him out.

Health care is much more important to all Americans than politics.

Democrats who believe jeering and political grandstanding will win them back the Oval Office, House and Senate are misguided, in large part by a mainstream media that has become too agenda-driven.

Americans want problems solved and a broken health care insurance system is one of the biggest ones. This is an imperfect, unfinished bill. It’s up to the Senate to make it better before sending it to President Trump for a signature that will improve the health care situation of all Americans.