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Nolan: Future of health care remains uncertain

What a travesty for our nation. President Donald Trump and House Republicans last week passed their American Health Care Act (Trumpcare) bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). And by doing so, they delivered a simple and direct message to the American people: Don't be sick and don't get old because the sicker you are and the older you get, the more you will pay.

With its $880 billion in Medicaid cuts, this bill targets the poor, the elderly, the sick, the disabled, rural hospitals and rural communities. The measure hits seniors the hardest by allowing insurance companies to charge them whatever they please with no limits. And by removing comprehensive requirements for affordable essential services like preventative care, emergency room care, hospitalization, prescriptions, maternity care, newborn care, mental health care and chronic disease management, Trumpcare targets pretty much everyone. And millions of good-paying jobs will be lost all across the health care industry as a result of the cutbacks.

All in all, this measure would take away health insurance from 24 million people and reduce health care benefits for as many as 7 million military veterans in order to provide a shameless $933 billion tax cut to millionaires and billionaires.

It's no wonder major health care advocacy groups have already weighed in against it — including AARP, the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the American Nurses Association and National Nurses United — just to name a few.

As I've pointed out many times before, instead of tearing apart millions of Americans' health care, Trump should make good on his promise to cover every single American with good, affordable, accessible health care. We need to fix what needs fixing in the Affordable Care Act, and get busy tackling the battle of rising healthcare costs, not dismantling our whole system.

This is not the end of the road. Trumpcare now heads for the Senate, where it faces tough bipartisan opposition and almost certain change before the House votes again on a final conference committee report, likely later this summer.