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Time to defend Medicaid and the ACA

Enrollment at the state's health insurance exchange is up in 2018, despite Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

In September of last year, The Baltimore Sun published a commentary by Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger warning of the burden states will adopt if cuts to Medicaid are made (“Medicaid cuts shift burdens to states,” Sept. 17).

“Medicaid saved my daughter’s life.”

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“For me, Medicaid is the difference between life and death.”

“Without the help of Medicaid, my family and I would be homeless.”

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These are just a few of the stories I’ve heard in the past few months while attending public forums on Medicaid across Maryland. President Donald Trump and leaders in Congress will set their agenda for 2018. In part, this means deciding what to do with Medicaid. Last year, the Cassidy-Graham ACA repeal bill failed in the Senate, but many Republicans, including President Trump, continue to embrace the bill (“Strong health sign-ups under Obamacare encourage Democrats,” Jan. 29).

Despite their claims, this bill will actually take coverage away from millions, weaken safeguards for people with pre-existing conditions and take away the work that has been done to expand Medicaid for our most vulnerable Marylanders. If cuts are made to the ACA and Medicaid, people like the ones above, will have very different stories to tell. People will be at risk of losing their health care, their liberty, and their lives.

I hope that you will join me in calling on Congress to protect Maryland’s families from efforts to repeal the ACA and take health care away from millions of Americans.

Lauren Herman, Baltimore

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