This committee seeks to protect and ultimately expand access to health care by ensuring that our legislators support Medicaid, Medicare, and the provisions enacted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act*, which has extended coverage to 20 million previously uninsured Americans, including 900,000 Ohioians. Our group includes health care providers, academic specialists, and activists, but we are most importantly past, present, and future patients who recognize the deep injustices in the market-based American health care system and understand the ways in which the passage of the ACA has begun to alleviate those injustices. We oppose the current administration’s intention to “repeal and replace” the ACA without a suitable replacement plan in place: one that ensures the right to health care for all Americans. The hallmarks of the Republican replacement plan—age-based tax credits and health savings accounts—will benefit the wealthiest members of society without providing essential protections for the most vulnerable.
Accordingly, we seek to defend, preserve, and ultimately improve the most important aspects of the ACA: Medicaid expansion, the options afforded by the government health care marketplace, the extension of coverage for young adults under their parents’ plans, and the protection of patients with preexisting conditions. Consistent with Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age, or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control,” we advocate for moving the American health care system toward a more just allocation of resources by insisting that health care be understood as a basic human right, rather than as an increasingly expensive commodity.
*The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is known interchangeably as the ACA, the PPACA, and Obamacare. Our group uses the term ACA.