Action: Dear Gov. Ivey…

Here’s the full letter. To sign, please send the author an email at jenniferlougreer@gmail.com, and include your full name and physical address BY 2 PM Friday, July 21.

Dear Gov. Ivey,

I am writing for a group of Alabama family and professional women who, for the first time in our lives, are “worried sick” about our healthcare. We are worried for ourselves, our families, and our state.

We are expressing our concerns after months of listening to alarming news about healthcare from politicians in Washington, D.C., with the latest being “Let Obamacare fail.” That means letting our healthcare system fail, according to medical and industry experts (see http://nyti.ms/2uDGf8D and http://nyti.ms/2uJHF1Y ). Further, it means our health insurance premiums would increase by 25%, our insurance markets would be destabilized, and an estimated 32 million Americans would lose coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) (see https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52939 ).

If, on the other hand, the latest version of the U.S. Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) is passed, 22 million people would lose coverage, including 164,000 Alabamians, according to the CBO (see https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52849 ). With its deep cuts to Medicaid, which covers 40% of Alabama’s children, this bill’s impact on the state would be “devastating.” In fact, experts say it would force Alabama to come up with $826 million a year after cuts to federal funding. State groups opposing this bill include the Alabama Hospital Association, the Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Alabama Nursing Home Association, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

Gov. Ivey, can you see why we are worried? We trust our Alabama doctors, hospitals and care providers. But we do not trust a process in Washington, D.C. that has not been an open, honest, and transparent.
Personally, any repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would make health insurance inaccessible for me (a healthy 61-year-old retired university instructor who will get hit with an unsustainable “age tax”) and my family (a self-employed forester husband with pre-existing conditions that wouldn’t be covered).

But it’s not about me. It’s about improving healthcare for ALL Alabama citizens. It’s also about supporting our $60 billion Alabama healthcare economy – a national leader and more than 6 times the size of our automobile industry – with its critical jobs and revenues. In short, first, please, “do no harm.”

Yet no one in Washington is speaking up for our healthcare and our economy. We can only hope that you, Gov. Ivey, as a nationally respected governor who is trying to restore integrity to Alabama government with an open, honest and transparent administration, can change that. We ask you to address the concerns of Alabama families and healthcare leaders by issuing a public statement that:

1) Affirms healthcare as a fundamental Alabama value for the health, safety and longevity of its citizens and the stability of its $60 billion healthcare economy;
2) Recommends that Congress slow down the reform process and postpone a vote on any “repeal” until a good bipartisan bill emerges from an open, honest, transparent process involving key stakeholders (medical/industry professionals, patient advocates, CBO, and governors).

Gov. Ivey, some see this as a political issue, but we do not. We see it as a moral issue, an economic issue, and, most importantly, a leadership issue. After years of a leadership vacuum in the Alabama governor’s office, we need you. And we are worried sick about our healthcare, all of us listed below.

Thank you,
Jennifer L. Greer, PhD,
1024 Colonial Avenue, Gardendale, Alabama, 35071

Are you in? Then please send the author an email at jenniferlougreer@gmail.com, and include your full name and physical address BY 2 PM Friday, July 21.