GOP health bill passage leaves questions, concerns on LI

Posted: Updated:
LEVITTOWN -

There are still questions and concerns to be addressed as a result of the Republican health care bill passing through the House of Representatives. 

Susan Pescador, of Levittown, has a pre-existing medical condition. So does her 30-year-old nephew. She says he was diagnosed with cancer five years ago and that the Affordable Care Act saved his life. She now fears that he, and others like him, will be kicked off their health insurance and denied coverage under "Trumpcare." 

"Even though he's healthy today, they'll look back in his record and say, 'you had cancer,'" says Pescador. 

Under "Obamacare," people with pre-existing medical conditions could not be denied health insurance. Under the Republican-backed American Health Care Act, states can choose to opt out of that requirement. States can also opt out of covering basic services like maternity care, mental health care and hospital stays. 

Republicans say an amendment to their bill will continue to protect people with pre-existing conditions. That amendment provides $8 billion over five years to states that opt out to help them fund health care premiums for people with pre-existing conditions. Opponents say $8 billion is not nearly enough. 

"This means, depending on your state, you might be covered  [or]  you might not," says Lisa Tyson, of the Long Island Progressive Coalition. "You're literally going to be killing people with this decision." 

Some Long Islanders say Obamacare has failed and the Republican bill is a better option. 

"I'm behind it 100 percent," says Louis LaSusa, of Massapequa Park. 

The Massapequa Park business owner says the Republican bill will raise health care costs initially, but he believes that it will be good for everyone in the long run.

"You'll be able to choose your own health care, you'll be able to have your own doctor," says LaSusa. 

Pescador disagrees with LaSusa's assessment. 

"It's scary that we're the most powerful in the world and we don't insure everybody in this country," she says.
 

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