CHRISTIAN FAITH LEADERS URGE CONGRESS TO FIND BIPARTISAN REMEDIES TO WHAT AILS THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

July 27, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Adrian Miller, Executive Director
adrian@cochurches.org
303-917-3864 (cell)

CHRISTIAN FAITH LEADERS URGE CONGRESS TO FIND BIPARTISAN REMEDIES TO WHAT AILS THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

As Christians and as leaders of churches in Colorado, we call on the U.S. Congress to work together and find bipartisan solutions to the shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). The ACA was a tremendous first step towards creating an accessible, accountable, affordable and inclusive health care system. We strongly believe that a wholesale, or partial, repeal of the ACA is unwarranted and would harm more than help.

Based on research provided by the Colorado Health Institute and the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, repealing the ACA–without any effective replacement–would have devastating effects for many Coloradans:

  • By ending Medicaid expansion, more than 450,000 Coloradans will lose health care coverage by 2020, and more than 600,000 Coloradans would effectively be denied health care coverage by 2030.
  • Medicaid is the foundation of the health care system that provides coverage to children, seniors, people with disabilities, and hard-working Coloradans who are trying to make ends meet (More than 75% of Coloradans covered through the ACA’s Medicaid expansion are working adults).
  • Without a clearly articulated replacement plan, Colorado’s health insurance market would be thrown into chaos, leading to even more spikes in insurance premiums.
  • Insurers would likely pull out of Colorado’s individual health insurance market altogether due to the instability that repeal without a replacement would create. Thus, thousands of Coloradans would be left without a coverage option.
  • Without a coverage option and the health insurance mandates, uninsured Coloradans will drive up costs by going to hospital emergency rooms for their health care needs.
  • Repealing the ACA will make health care unaffordable by ending the financial assistance used by 61% of the 186,000 Coloradans enrolled through Connect for Health Colorado—our state’s health care exchange.
  • All Coloradans with private or employer-based insurance can expect significant premium increases for their health care insurance as the private market disintegrates, Coloradans are kicked off of the Medicaid coverage they need, Colorado’s percentage population of uninsured people skyrockets, and uncompensated care increases dramatically.

Given the anticipated consequences to Coloradans from a full, or partial, ACA repeal, Congress would better serve our state, and our nation, by finding bipartisan ways to build on the foundation laid by the ACA. We oppose any proposed legislative fix to the ACA that does any of the following:

  • results in hundreds of thousands of people in our state and millions across the country losing health care coverage;
  • ends Colorado’s successful Medicaid expansion program;
  • shifts unsustainable costs to the state;
  • caps or cuts Medicaid for our state’s most vulnerable populations; or
  • threatens access to health care for the many Coloradans who depend on rural hospitals.

The Christian Church is called to be an active participant in fashioning a just and effective health care system. Responding to those who were sick was integral to the life and ministry of Jesus and has been a central aspect of the Church’s mission throughout its history. Health care and healing are concrete manifestations of God’s ongoing care for and redemption of creation. Let us honor the ministry of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by crafting health care reform solutions that are compassionate, comprehensive and committed to increasing access to affordable health care for those at society’s margins.

Signed,

Rev. Sue Artt, Conference Minister, Rocky Mountain Conference, United Church of Christ

Rev. Joan Bell-Haynes, Executive Regional Minister, Central Rocky Mountain Region, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rev. Hollis Booker, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

Bishop Jim Gonia, Rocky Mountain Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The Rev. Michael J. Nicosia, Vicar to the Rocky Mountain Region of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion

Bishop Karen Oliveto, Mountain Sky Area, United Methodist Church

Rev. Jonathan Rhone, Presiding Elder, Rocky Mountain District, African Methodist Episcopal Church

Rev. Vickie Samland, Western Plains District Representative, Church of the Brethren

Rev. Thomas C. Sheffield, Presbytery Pastor, Presbytery of Denver

Steve Van Ostran, D. Min., Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches of the Rocky Mountains

Board of Directors, Colorado Council of Churches

Board of Directors, Rocky Mountain Conference, United Church of Christ

The Colorado Council of Churches is a Christian, social justice organization

 

 

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