Recent actions in Congress to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act have generated concerns throughout the nation, which Mayor Paul Soglin sought to address and discuss in a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
The new bill, World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan, may drastically affect families in the U.S. and at least 500,000 people in Wisconsin, Soglin said.
Many large cuts to Medicaid are included in the bill. A family of four would not get health care coverage under the new bill unless their income fell below $6,000, according to Soglin.
“We’re going to end up wasting weeks and months as a nation while this horsing around takes place and it affects the well-being and health of tens of millions of people,” Soglin said.
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As more than one-third of the Madison Police Department and Madison Fire Department’s budgets are estimated to go to responses which are caused by mental illness and substance abuse, public safety could become compromised, Soglin said. People will have to pay emotionally and financially with the reduction in this coverage, he said.
“I think it’s incumbent upon every responsible elected official who have responsibilities in this area to stop and end the decade of foolishness and start getting serious in addressing these issues,” Soglin said.
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The cost of healthcare is another issue that needs to be addressed, Soglin said, as the federal government is currently unable to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies for prescription drugs.
In addition, the Republicans in control of Congress are able to make changes to health care laws, which can save rate-payers and taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, Soglin said.
And at any point in our lives, Soglin said, all of us are going to have unanticipated medical needs that need attention which can range in costs — in terms of the quality care — from as little as a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“It’s incumbent upon us, not just for the well-being of the individual but for all of society, to recognize that we share the responsibility and we share the cost,” Soglin said.