BANGOR – Residents packed the Bangor Public Library Tuesday to have a discussion on the American Health Care Act.
There were some young people in attendance, but most were older Mainers worried about losing coverage as they reach medicare-eligible times in their lives.
“I live in Veazie. I’m covered by medicare… for now,” One resident said. “The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) says 22,000,000 people will lose their healthcare. Does this include people with pre-existing conditions?”
Framers of the new bill are proud people won’t be forced to enroll in a plan, like under Obamacare. It’s a “small-government” approach conservatives champion.
Opponents, like former White House healthcare staffer Tim Gronniger, say that means higher rates for those who need insurance.
“In many parts of the country,” He said, “It could effectively end access to affordable health insurance coverage that people don’t have through medicare.”
The bill passed through the US House of Representatives, and now that it heads to the senate, it will likely be re-worked and could change a great deal.
The discussion panel applauded Senators Collins and King for approaching the bill “cautiously and closely,” but urge Mainers to keep working for a better alternative.
“People like you are sitting in this room tonight. You’re reaching out. To your delegation, your congressional delegation,” Said Ann Woloson, a policy analyst with Maine Equal Justice Partners. “This is not over, they are not starting from scratch… and in fact, many of those things that are in this damaging proposal are reappearing in other ways.”