A Portland man’s petition to strip health-care subsidies from Congress is well on its way towards reaching one million signatures.
“Several years ago, my dad got the news that he had cancer,” wrote Daniel Jimenez, 30, on the change.org petition. “Sadly, he passed away. My dad had a job at the time, but his employer did not cover him, and without coverage, he avoided going to the doctor until it was too late. As Congress and President Trump try to pass a new healthcare law, I’m reminded of my father and whether he would have made it if he had early access to cost-effective health care…
“Like millions of people who are panicking about possible changes to their health insurance, I’m concerned the people elected to represent us won’t have to live with the consequences or expenses that the rest of us may have to face soon. I want lawmakers to commit to treating themselves just like those who will be impacted by ACA repeal or replacement….
“If Congress is willing to drastically cut healthcare subsidies for most people, are they willing to have the same rules apply to them and their families?”
Members of Congress are currently required by Obamacare to sign up for health plans “created under the Affordable Care Act or coverage offered via an Affordable Insurance Exchange.” Under the Republicans’ new plan, however, Congress may be empowered to return to “the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program,” which would allow them to choose from 300 private health plans widely reputed for their high quality and low cost.
Jimenez says the response to his petition “has been amazing.”
“There are also some really sad and scary comments about people needing health insurance because of pre-existing conditions and are fearing for their lives if they lose their health care plan,” he said. “An interesting fact is that people from both side of the political spectrum seem to agree with me about Congress not receiving any special treatment that regular people do not have.”
As of this writing, the petition has secured 879,113 signatures. If it reaches a million, Jimenez intends to send it to House Speaker Paul Ryan, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and President Trump.