Health care costs for families “skyrocketing”
Health care bills for families across Alabama will skyrocket unless Congress acts soon. This is because an important program that ensures working families don’t go broke trying to stay healthy expires this fall. This program can be saved, but only if we act quickly. So I urge our Congressman Terri Sewell to come back and see that families in Alabama no longer have to pay for basic health insurance.
Here’s what’s at stake: Earlier this year, Congress passed law to ensure that health insurance remains affordable for working people. Individuals and families most at risk of losing access to health care took advantage of new subsidies to pay for health insurance in the federal market.
These subsidies lowered the cost of coverage for families who struggled to afford the essentials in life. More than 40,000 uninsured Alabamers have access to aid as a result of legislation passed this year. When these health care subsidies are removed – and these uninsured members of our communities lose access to market aid – the costs for these families will become high.
This will affect families of all origins. HHS found that phasing out these subsidies could increase premiums by as much as $ 600 per year. For some families, the cost could be even higher. A new analysis estimates that premium payments could double for millions of Americans.
Congress is currently debating the next federal budget, including various measures to improve health care. Securing these subsidies over the long term should be a top priority. It’s the easiest way to expand coverage to millions of working Americans.
For me, expanding access to affordable and reliable healthcare is part of my life’s work. I’m part of a rapidly growing health screening and testing company in mobile called Synergy Laboratories. Our company is part of the thriving medical and research industries that are driving growth here in South Alabama.
We have seen how important health care is not only to the life and well-being of our families, but also an important engine of our regional economy. When workers are healthy, they never miss a job. Families don’t have to stay at home to care for sick children. And older Alabamers can enjoy the benefits of retirement with confidence.
The last year and a half have been difficult for many. But if it has taught us anything, it is that protecting access to quality health care is more important than ever in order to continue to have prosperous families, businesses and communities.
More than 15,000 Alabamans have died from COVID-19. More people died in our community this year than in all of 2020. In addition, around 4,000 people across our state tested positive for the coronavirus in the last week alone, a number that certainly underestimates the overall extent of the virusâs spread in our whole state.
Each of these cases – not to mention the appalling number of tragic deaths – represent an Alabama family and community that will forever change. The last thing anyone should be forced to do in this situation is to pay more for their health care, but this is the future that could soon be in front of them if Congress doesn’t act quickly.
Congressman Sewell has always been committed to expanding access to quality health care, especially in the south. She made Alabama proud by putting these life-saving health care subsidies into law – now we need to put them back on the table, urge them to make that relief permanent and once again protect family health care in our state.