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Do they value our lives?
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This week our U.S. Senators will return to Washington, D.C. and decide the fate of the lives of millions of Americans.

Will they say yes, we value your lives, or no, we value politics and retribution? Senator Isakson and Senator Perdue and the other 98 senators have a lot of power. And Trump has told them to just repeal the American Health Care Act with no replacement if they can't come to a consensus.

If that happens take what I talk about in the following paragraphs and multiply the damage 10-fold.

If they decide to pass the Better Care Reconciliation Act (American Health Care Recovery Act in the house) as is, millions of Americans will lose their health insurance.

In Georgia, and in every other state, this means that almost two-thirds of the sick and elderly in nursing homes will have to leave-where will they go? In 2015 Medicaid was primary payer for long-term care, including $55 billion in 2015 for nursing homes.

This bill drastically cuts Medicaid.

Millions of people who are receiving treatment for diabetes, heart disease and cancer will no longer have coverage, either because they can't afford it or it no longer exists.

A 60-year-old man who makes $30,000 a year and has heart disease will see his cost as a percentage of his income double. This could mean no more treatment for heart disease and probably death. So even though they claim that the bill doesn't affect those with pre-existing conditions, in fact it does because premiums for older Americans not yet on Medicare will go up drastically. Premiums for young people will go down because benefits will be decreased and because insurance is based on risk and young people tend not to get as sick.

What about children?

In Georgia we have the fifth lowest number of people in all the states who are covered by Medicaid; Georgia has the second highest number of uninsured.

This is largely because our Republican leaders chose the political route and did not choose to expand Medicaid. That means that under the new senate bill, our state will receive higher cuts to Medicaid than other states. For children, that means cuts to services. For disabled children, that means programs in our public schools that help these special children will be drastically cut.

Don't believe our leaders-Isakson, Perdue, Trump-would actually do this? Look at the figures at Kaiser Family Foundation ( ) a non-profit, non-partisan research organization that studies health care costs. And then, call or write Isakson, Perdue, and Trump-say no to the death knell they would bring to thousands of Americans!

Mike Lane
Dawson County