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Tony Smith

Jefferson City

Dear Editor:

Alabama Republican Rep. Mo Brooks stated in 2017 on CNN that “People who lead good lives” don’t have pre-existing medical conditions. What does that even mean? The Kaiser Family Foundation estimated in 2016 that 52 million Americans under the age of 65 have pre-existing conditions. This issue cuts across lines of race and political parties.

In 2018 Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley joined 20 GOP state officials supporting a Texas lawsuit to end Obamacare. Hawley falsely denied that he supported the return of pre-existing conditions to limit health insurance.

Now Trump has asked his attorney general to file a brief in support of this same lawsuit. If this lawsuit ended Obamacare, 14 million citizens would lose health care. Furthermore, insurance restrictions on the use of pre-existing conditions to eliminate coverage would be removed. That effects all Americans with health care coverage.

Libertarian ideas have become gospel in the GOP over the last 40 years. Government is bad. Greed-based markets are good. Especially good if you already have a lot of money. A libertarian-based health care system would be totally fee for services with no government assistance. Paul Ryan used to put up radical plans for “reform” that could only produce the kind of cost reductions promised if you gutted Social Security, Medicare and later Obamacare. Leutkemeyer greatly praised Ryan’s plans. Of course, Ryan and Leutkemeyer never told us up front what a takedown of our health care system would be required.

The way our political system works now, politicians in both parties are easily corrupted. The passage of Citizen’s United has allowed unlimited dark money to be spent on a regular basis. In 2013 and 2014 when passage of Obamacare was being negotiated, the pharmaceutical companies spent $250 million to keep the ACA from affecting drug prices. When the Bush administration added drugs to Medicare Part D, huge amounts of lobby money were spent to keep Medicare from bidding on drugs. The VA bids on drugs and we veterans obtain medication at greatly reduced prices.

Health care will be a major issue in 2020. Republicans have no health care plan. Presently, GOP attacks on Obamacare are increasing insurance costs for everyone. Recall when Leutkemeyer promised us “repeal and replace” then voted 50 times to kill Obamacare. There was no replace.

You should pay attention and be informed.

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