BANGOR – Some senior citizens are pleading with Senator Susan Collins to not repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
They gathered in Bangor with the “Save My Health Care Bus Tour.”
This was after Collins announced a replacement plan, The Patient Act of 2017. This is the first step towards repealing the ACA.
According to Susan Collins, her number one goal is to make sure there are not any gaps in coverage for those relying on the current system.
“If they like the Affordable Care Act, they can keep the Affordable Care Act,” said Collins, “If they want to go an alternative route that is more patient centered, that would provide more choices and help to restrain costs, they could do that too and the federal government would bundle the funding that would otherwise be used for the ACA subsidies and expansion of Medicaid in their state and allow them to proceed along a more creative route.”
They believe this new act will increase choices and expand access to care.
“We recognize how different the needs of our states are,” said Collins. “But our citizens should have access to affordable health care and to choose the path that works best for them,” she said.
More details about the bill will be discussed on Monday.
While some seniors agree the ACA could use some tweaking, the seniors said they believe getting rid of it without a replacement plan could be harmful to those who would lose coverage.
Cathleen London, Door to Door Doctors, “We’re a society, how do we take care of each other. I saw a comment on an article, when you see someone drop down, and you call 9-1-1, do we just step over them? Because we all pay for that one way or another.”
They are worried that those living in rural communities will fall into the “Drug Donut Affect.” That’s when their medications aren’t covered. Some elderly Mainers said they are forced to take a smaller dose of their medication to make them last. But that can be detrimental to their health.
Seniors said they hope Senator Collins will reconsider her position.
(Editor’s note: An earlier version contained inaccurate information provided by the Maine People’s Alliance.)