Alyssa Morse: Health care vote is a blow for insured poor

SCV Voices: Guest Commentary
SCV Voices: Guest Commentary

Editor’s note: The following column was addressed to Congressman Steve Knight and a copy sent to The Signal.

Iam a 3rd year medical student at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. My family and I are also your constituents in Valencia.

I have spent most of my short medical career caring for patients at LAC+USC Medical Center, which is responsible for serving the low-income communities of East Los Angeles.

Before Obamacare the majority of my patients were uninsured, and now because of your vote they have the most to lose.

According to the UC Berkeley Labor Center, as a result of your vote for the American Health Care Act (AHCA), more than 1 million low-income adults who are enrolled in the Obamacare Medi-Cal expansion will lose their health insurance in Los Angeles County alone.

It is clear that you do not understand that for our patients, health insurance is not about choice in a free market; it is about life and death.

How dare you hide behind the guise of your wife’s nursing profession when you have no idea what it is like to be on the front lines for these patients.

Contrary to your statement, the American Nurses Association, which represents 3.6 million nurses in this country, has publicly spoken out against the AHCA. Medical students, nurses and physicians spend time listening to the stories of these patients and caring for their acute (and pre-existing) conditions every day.

As a budding physician, I am expected to stay up to date on the latest medical literature and advances in medical therapies to ensure that I am providing the best care to my patients. Your constituents expect you to do the same when new legislation is proposed.

It was wholly irresponsible for you to cast your vote for the new version of the AHCA when the Congressional Budget Office had not yet released an analysis of how it would affect your constituents.

You have shown your true colors, and your actions will have consequences. I promise you that my colleagues and I will be at your town halls in our white coats, on our phones calling your constituents, and knocking on doors in my neighborhood to protect our patients and to ensure that this term is your last.

A Valencia resident, Alyssa Morse is a medical student at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and constituent of Steve Knight. She is also a member of the national Protect Our Patients movement and the non-profit organization Los Angeles Physicians for Health.

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