Press release from Public Policy Network:
Over a hundred citizens packed a room in Hayesville on Friday to raise their concerns about the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to 11th district representative, Mark Meadows. However, neither he or his staff attended after receiving an invitation from the Public Policy Network.Members of the groups health care committee, including Dr. Brian Mitchell, who has been practicing in the area for 40 years, described what the ACA had meant to the residents of the county and surrounding area. Mitchell said, “The advent of health care has meant life or death to my patients. It has also affected the quality of life for many more. We need to be assured that the ACA will continue with its essential elements in place or thousands will suffer.”Pam Howard, a resident of Brasstown, who struggled to pay for private health insurance and finally had to drop it due to the high cost, said, “The ACA was a god send. When I got cancer, I was able to get coverage and the treatment that I needed, even though I had a pre-existing condition. I don’t know what my family would have done without it.”
Judith Wikstrom, a retired Family Nurse Practitioner who served area residents for many years, pointed out that almost a quarter of the people in Clay and Cherokee County were low income and could not afford heath insurance. She said that medical bills were the number one cause of bankruptcy and many simply could not afford to put aside money for a health savings account to pay for medical bills and buy high deductible health insurance, as was suggested by a proposal being floated by Republicans.The group, and those who attended the meeting, are frustrated that their representative in Congress was not accessible during recess to learn what health care means for thousands in his district. Videos and pictures of the event are available on request.The Public Policy Network is a bipartisan group of citizens interested in local, state and federal government policies that affect our communities.