Dear Senator Toomey,
I am writing to you as a constituent with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a debilitating connective tissue disorder. I run support groups for EDS, and have made hundreds of amazing inspiring friends over the years with all sorts of chronic illness, everything from lupus to cancer to cystic fibrosis to HIV. These people are my friends. They are my heroes. And if the AHCA passes the senate, they will die. Or at the very least, they will become utter prisoners to their own destructing bodies.
This is because many of them will be charged more for being sick – in many cases, their premiums will amount to more than they make in an entire year. As you can imagine, the work capacity for disabled Americans is much lower than the able public’s, and the vast majority of chronically ill people live in poverty. The AHCA targets these people with literally deadly precision. The block-grants proposed to fund high-risk pools for these people are laughably underfunded, and fly in the face of a fact that should be common sense: you can not have a separate insurance marketplace just for sick people. It will, by its very nature, self-destruct, and we will be its fatal victims.
Senator, you are a reasonable man. When you stood against most of your party to support commonsense gun legislation, I publicly applauded you. Please – I am genuinely begging you – show your bravery again. Vote against this travesty of a bill, and work instead to reform the current law in a way that genuinely brings down costs and makes healthcare better without being won on the backs of our most struggling citizens. You will have our respect, and our gratitude. And more importantly: you will have saved our lives.
Dear readers: thank you for taking the time to read my letter. If you care about this pivotal issue, and have a Republican senator, I hope you will take the time to write to them as well. The stakes could not be higher.