Miami Herald: Curbelo: I made a promise that I would fight for better healthcare for the country
By Carlos Curbelo
To be sure, the legislation moved out of the House last week is far from perfect and needs to be improved. Many people have serious and legitimate concerns — myself included. However, the sheer complexity of healthcare in America means that no bill will ever please everyone. While some today applaud the ACA, many others are facing higher premiums, fewer options, and reduced access to care. In many counties, like Monroe, there is only one insurance provider left. In some counties in Iowa and other states there are none. That’s right, no insurance options at all for those in the individual market.
Before last week’s vote I received strong assurances that major improvements would be made in the Senate. I have been in contact with various offices in that chamber for weeks, and I am particularly focused on making sure we increase the amount of the tax credits for lower-income Americans and for those nearing the age of retirement. I was displeased with the changes that raised questions about coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, but hours before the vote we secured the inclusion of an amendment that further protects sick Americans who may have failed to keep continuous coverage in certain states. The legislation guarantees the issuing of health policies to everyone no matter their health status. Almost every person in the country has a family member living with a pre-existing condition, myself included, and I firmly believe all our loved ones deserve access to high-quality care.
For my colleagues who view service in Congress as career, the easiest thing is always to cut and run when controversial issues come up. Being a perpetual No vote takes little work. It’s much harder to be a true legislator and use every resource to strengthen legislation and improve it for your community and the country. I have no trouble saying No. I have said it to presidents of both parties and to my own leadership.
However, I made a promise that I would fight for better healthcare for our country, for a market-based system where Americans, not special interests, are in control and can make the best healthcare choices for themselves and their families.
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