Commentary by Zionsville health care professionals Jane Rapinchuk, Carrie-Ann Jordan and Kelly Seyer
Since 2016, a group of concerned Zionsville residents — all health care professionals — has been meeting to better understand health care policy and the future of the Affordable Care Act. As nurses, therapists and consultants, we knew both the benefits and shortcomings of the ACA and hoped it would be improved, rather than discarded.
We shared our concerns with U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks in 2017. Brooks made it clear she wanted to repeal the ACA. However, she said she hoped to preserve three features: a guarantee of coverage for pre-existing conditions, a floor on lifetime benefit limits and the ability for children to stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26.
Yet Brooks has failed to stand behind those priorities. She has not spoken against the current Republican lawsuit attacking the ACA, which would end protection for pre-existing conditions. She has not denounced new short-term insurance policies which do not protect any of her stated priorities. She voted for the American Health Care Act, which did not completely protect pre-existing conditions.
More recently, our group met with Brooks’ opponent, Dee Thornton. We were impressed with Thornton’s firm grasp of the health care industry and policy nuances. Thornton recounted stories from people she has met who can’t afford their premiums, who remain unhappily in jobs just for the insurance and who can’t afford the rising cost of medications.
Thornton agrees that we must preserve the protections of the ACA, decrease access barriers and costs, improve technology, and address pricing transparency, all while taking care of our most vulnerable citizens. We believe Thornton will work toward improving our health-care system, not dismantling it.