As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on through the fall, infecting even the president of the U.S., it’s more important than ever that Americans have access to quality, affordable health care. Which is why we need to re-elect Democrat Andy Kim as congressman for New Jerseys’ 3rd Congressional District. A vote for Andy Kim is a vote for health care.
Kim first ran for office in 2018 on a health care platform, and in particular on the pledge that he would protect the Affordable Care Act, ACA, from the Trump administration’s neverending efforts to dismantle it. And he has delivered.
Andy Kim wrote legislation to provide federal help to states seeking to run their own healthcare exchanges. He voted against the Trump administration’s efforts to flood the marketplace with short-term healthcare plans that are cheaper but do not provide a full range of benefits, including coverage for pre-existing conditions such as cancer or diabetes. He also voted to expand the ACA, making healthcare more affordable and accessible for Americans at the height of the pandemic.
Andy Kim hasn’t stopped there. At a time when skyrocketing prices threaten America with another public health crisis, he has fought to lower drug prices for everyone. Kim supports legislation requiring the federal government to negotiate drug prices with big pharma companies something the law currently prohibits, and calling for penalties for drug companies that price gouge patients.
By contrast, the party opposing Kim has done everything in their power to dismantle the ACA and leave the American health care system at the mercy of profiteering corporations and pharmaceutical companies.
Since 2016, Donald Trump’s GOP has unceasingly attacked the ACA. A Republican led- lawsuit due to be heard in the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 10 could see the landmark law declared unconstitutional, with devastating consequences for countless Americans and millions of our fellow New Jerseyans.
Dismantling the ACA could mean 200,000 New Jersey seniors would have to pay more for lifesaving drugs. It would mean 130 million Americans could be denied health care coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
Women could be charged more than men and health insurers would no longer be required to cover preventative care, maternity care, mental health and substance disorder treatment. Nearly 600,000 adults who have health care through the New Jersey Family Care program could lose coverage.
We can’t trust the Trump administration and the Trump-led GOP with our health care. Especially given how this Republican administration bungled the response to the global pandemic, costing more than 200,000 people their lives, many millions their jobs and resulting in President Donald Trump himself contracting COVID-19.
Our healthcare system should work for all people, not just the wealthy, and it shouldn’t be subject to rules imposed by big corporations and pharmaceutical companies. To ensure it does, we need leaders who will fight to lower health care costs and to make quality care accessible to all.
We need leaders like Democratic Congressman Andy Kim and New Jersey should re-elect him.
Maura Collinsgru is the health care program director for New Jersey Citizen Action, a statewide advocacy and social service organization that advocates for social, racial and economic justice for all while also meeting the pressing needs of low and moderate income New Jerseyans through education and direct service.
Maura Collinsgru is director of the New Jersey Citizen Action Healthcare Program.
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