Earlier today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act in an effort to repeal and replace the successful Affordable Care Act.
In 2017 alone, 197,000 Utahns have enrolled in coverage through the ACA. As Mayor of the Capital City, and the most diverse city in the state, I’m greatly concerned for the life and death consequences our residents could face as a result of this vote.
The bill as passed leaves great gaps in healthcare coverage, especially to seniors, low-income families, and those most in need. This comes at a time when the City, County, and State are engaged in a critical collaboration to address homelessness, including some of its underlying causes -- most notably, mental health and substance abuse.
Affordable and comprehensive health care should be the right of every American. Healthcare coverage stabilizes communities, and creates equity and opportunity. Unfortunately, today’s vote demonstrates that too many of our Washington leaders are more concerned with political posturing than thoughtful and well-crafted ways to improve the ACA.
The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate for action. I call on residents to join me in urging our senators to rise above politics and to consider the most vulnerable people in Utah as they deliberate.