Highlighting the hypocrisy of members of Congress who benefit from large healthcare subsidies at the same time that they work to kick millions of Americans off of their health coverage, a man who lost his father to cancer because he was uninsured has created a petition demanding an end to those subsidies for lawmakers.
"If Congress is willing to drastically cut healthcare subsidies for most people, are they willing to have the same rules apply to them and their families?"
—Daniel Jimenez, petition creatorThe petition on Change.org has proved extremely popular, garnering over 350,000 signatures in a week.
The creator, Daniel Jimenez, wrote in the petition: "Several years ago, my dad got the news that he had cancer. Sadly, he passed away. My dad had a job at the time, but his employer did not cover him, and without coverage, he avoided going to the doctor until it was too late. As Congress and President [Donald] Trump try to pass a new healthcare law, I'm reminded of my father and whether he would have made it if he had early access to cost-effective healthcare."
"Like millions of people who are panicking about possible changes to their health insurance," Jimenez continued, "I'm concerned the people elected to represent us won't have to live with the consequences or expenses that the rest of us may have to face soon. I want lawmakers to commit to treating themselves just like those who will be impacted by ACA [Affordable Care Act] repeal or replacement."
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Jimenez told The Oregonian that the response to his petition has been "amazing."
"There are also some really sad and scary comments about people needing health insurance because of pre-existing conditions and are fearing for their lives if they lose their health care plan," he told the newspaper. "An interesting fact is that people from both sides of the political spectrum seem to agree with me about Congress not receiving any special treatment that regular people do not have."
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the GOP healthcare plan currently being pushed through Congress would strip the healthcare coverage of 24 million Americans, raise premiums for nearly everyone else, and cut the taxes of the country's wealthiest.
"If Congress is willing to drastically cut healthcare subsidies for most people, are they willing to have the same rules apply to them and their families?" Jimenez wrote.