Health-care debate

OK, let me see if I understand the Republican stance on health care in the United States. They don’t care who is covered or not covered. They don’t care about essential benefits being part of health-care legislation. They don’t care about people with pre-existing conditions being excluded from coverage. They don’t care if the Affordable Care Act implodes. Seriously?

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said, in effect, that the substance of the proposed bill on health care is less important than keeping a campaign promise. Mr. Trump doesn’t seem to have any concerns about the substance of Graham-Cassidy so long as it passes. Seriously?

A failing health-care system will directly harm the citizens of this country. It is time for members of both parties to work together to find solutions and improvements. This is not rocket science and many worthwhile improvements have already been proposed. Let’s shelve the proposed Graham-Cassidy legislation and work together to ensure that all American citizens are treated with dignity as their health-care needs are met. Surely, intelligent elected officials can figure this out.

Jacqueline Rhodes, Waco

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I was amused by Professor Allan H. Cole’s use of two encounters at a pharmacy as evidence the Graham-Cassidy health bill is bad — ironic when both encounters are now happening under Obamacare, which he wants to save [“Two sobering trips to the local pharmacy,” Sept. 22]. What the proposed bill will bring neither he nor I nor anyone knows. We can only speculate what will happen. No matter what is or is not done concerning health care, one can always find someone or some group who is hurt or has some type of grievance.

Jim Cantrell, Axtell

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Most rural hospitals are heavily dependent upon Medicare and Medicaid, the latter now threatened under the Graham-Cassidy health bill. Rural communities already have fragile economies and, when hospitals and clinics close, the jobs that helped support the economy end too. One in three rural hospitals faces financial risk and, without Medicaid and Medicare funding, 25 percent will close. Once closed, associated health professionals and non-health professionals invested there will also disappear.

These hospitals serve rural citizens who also tend to be older, poorer and sicker. Heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses play a heavy role in the care and constant monitoring of these citizens. If they must travel further to other facilities, it goes without saying there will be less compliance and monitoring for chronic illnesses. And it’s not just rural hospitals. Nursing homes are also heavily dependent upon Medicaid. Almost 65 percent of residents of these nursing homes are dependent upon Medicaid. Without it these nursing homes will close.

Sandra Blankenship, Killeen