Posted: 7/24/2022 8:22:23 PM
Access to affordable healthcare has become more important than ever since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As inflation now plagues our country and the costs of everything rise, Americans are forced to choose between health care and other necessities, like gas and groceries. These are terrible choices – and our representatives have an opportunity to provide some relief by protecting access to affordable health care.
Health care subsidies created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and temporarily expanded in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) have given nearly six million Americans new access to health care options for the first time. affordable care. Without urgent action from Congress, these grants will expire at the end of the year. If that happens, Americans will see their premiums go up, which will knock most of them out of the market altogether.
I am proud to chair the Board of All Out Adventures (AOA), an outdoor recreation organization that encourages people of all abilities to participate in adventure programs. Many participants rely on their health insurance for life-changing treatments and services that they otherwise could not afford. I am concerned that participants will not be able to afford even the AOA subsidized rates for program attendance if they have to pay more for basic health insurance. These premium increases would have a dramatic impact on families here and across the country.
We are fortunate to have House Ways and Means President Richard Neal, who has long been a champion of access to affordable healthcare, as our representative. We desperately need him to take action to make health insurance subsidies permanent now, before Congress goes into recess in August. If Congress does not act, 42,900 newly eligible Bay Staters could lose their coverage. We cannot ignore the needs of thousands of families by letting grants expire.
Elizabeth Martin, from Easthampton, is a speech therapist at Weldon Rehabilitation Hospital. She is Chair of the Board of All Out Adventures, a non-profit organization that promotes health, community, and independence for people with disabilities, their families, and friends through outdoor recreation.