SAVE Act would help Pa. and NJ residents with preexisting conditions | Opinion
The bipartisan effort gives states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania the resources they need to establish their own state-based health care exchanges.
When it comes to health care, Donald Trump’s rhetoric and record simply don’t match.
Last October, at a speech in Philadelphia, President Trump promised to “always protect Americans with preexisting conditions.” Long before that, he ran on ensuring that those relying on Medicare and Medicaid would be protected from draconian cuts.
Last week, he reversed course. His administration filed a legal brief that would put coverage at risk for more than 20 million Americans who access it through the Affordable Care Act, and threaten care for the approximately 133 million Americans who suffer from preexisting conditions.
For millions of Americans, including myself, this isn’t just bad policy or partisan politics, this is personal. I’m the son of a polio survivor and the father of two baby boys whose health I worry about every day. I’m also a neighbor to tens of thousands throughout my district who stand to lose if we go backward on health care and reverse the protections the Affordable Care Act brought to families like mine.
These are people who don’t identify themselves by their party label, but by their hard work and ability to raise a family, take care of an older generation or simply put food on the table. When I go back home and hear from people at my town halls and in community and senior centers, health care — not political gossip or punditry — is the issue I hear the most.
As a freshman member of Congress, I promised to get things done. As a father and a son, I have a deep obligation to stand up for my family, and families like mine.
It’s why I’m not only standing up to this administration’s attempts to undermine health care for millions and protect the coverage that so many people depend on every day, it’s why I’m working across the aisle to strengthen it.
Together with Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.), I have introduced the State Allowance for a Variety of Exchanges, or SAVE Act. This is a bipartisan effort that gives states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania the resources they need to establish their own state-based health-care exchanges.
Just last week, New Jersey’s governor announced a proposal to create a state-based exchange. The SAVE Act would provide much-needed resources for New Jersey to establish its own exchange and provide New Jersey residents greater control and lower health-care costs.
Across the country and in Congress, we are taking steps to strengthen our nation’s health-care system, not undermine it. We are seeing Democrats and Republicans come together to address the issues that truly impact our neighbors and families every day.
President Trump has a choice: He can stand by his word and the American people and join us to protect and strengthen our health-care system, or he can play politics again with the lives of millions.
In the meantime, I’m going to keep working to move us forward, not backward. If President Trump wants to make meaningful progress, I’ll be ready to work alongside him. If he is going to double down on his rhetoric to remove protections for people with preexisting conditions, I will do everything I humanly can to protect our care.
Andy Kim is the U.S. representative from New Jersey’s 3rd District.