State officials, health experts skeptical about Senate health bill

State officials, health experts skeptical about Senate health bill

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US Senator Tom Carper urges his colleagues to improve upon the Affordable Care Act. Congress has swiftly moved to repeal the legislation. William Bretzger/The News Journal

‘People will die’ under new health care proposal

Humes said he was relieved the bill, which he described as a “very bad piece of legislation,” wasn’t put up for a vote this week.

Instead of “demonizing” the Affordable Care Act, politicians “should fix it,” he said.

“It leaves a lot of people without treatment. You cannot do this on your own. It’s such a strong addiction, you need help,” Humes said. “My hope is that after the recess both sides sit down and they try to do something realistic.”

Carper said his biggest priority with the bill is to make sure ACA marketplaces are stabilized.

Aetna announced in May that it would withdraw from Delaware’s marketplace. About 28,000 Delawareans are covered by Obamacare, and almost 12,000 people will lose Aetna coverage.

MORE: With Aetna out, Obamacare costs to rise in Delaware

Highmark is the only remaining company in Delaware’s marketplace.

Carper said Aetna left because of a “lack of predictability.” He believes this can be fixed by creating a reinsurance plan and making sure the individual mandate and the cost-sharing arrangement in the Affordable Care Act stays.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., will host a roundtable discussion about the Senate bill at 10 a.m. Friday at Connections at 821 Lancaster Pike in Wilmington. Key health sector stakeholders are invited, including Connections, AARP, the Medical Society, Planned Parenthood of Delaware, hospitals and community health centers.

They will talk about how the Senate bill would disrupt care for seniors, those with pre-existing conditions, veterans, women and those fighting addiction, among other topics.

Carper will discuss the effects of the bill Friday at 9:30 a.m. at Autism Delaware, which has some programs funded by Medicaid. It’s located at 928 Old Harmony Road, Ogletown.

Contact Meredith Newman at (302) 324-2386 or at mnewman@delawareonline.com. Follow her at @merenewman.

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