The Pima County Board of Supervisors approved two resolutions recently dealing with national health issues: the opioid addiction epidemic and possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Many members of the community, ranging from citizens impacted by the current state of health care and health-care professionals, urged the board members to stand in opposition of efforts to repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
The U.S. House has already passed a bill that official estimates show would lead to 23 million people losing coverage while also significantly reducing budget deficits. The U.S. Senate is currently crafting its own version of a replacement to the ACA.
Victoria Steele, a former Democratic state representative, told the board the ACA has done good things for working families, especially for women.
“Thanks to the ACA, women can’t be thrown off their health care, simply because they are pregnant,” she said. “It breaks my heart and is absolutely shocking to me that we have leaders in our government, in secret putting together something that could be disastrous to tens of millions of people.”
The resolution passed 3-2, with Supervisors Ally Miller and Steve Christy casting the dissenting votes. Miller called the ACA a partisan bill, that had no Republican support, a sentiment Christy echoed.
“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” she said. “Do you remember that? I sure do. Am I the only one that remembers that? (The ACA) was rammed down our throats. I voted for Donald Trump because I wanted this repealed and replaced. It’s got to be.”
The resolution estimates that 100,000 county residents could lose their insurance coverage if the repeal is successful.
The board also approved a resolution requesting state support for efforts to address opioid addiction and overdoses in the county by a 4-1 vote.
Miller voted against the resolution, citing a request in the resolution’s last sentence for the Legislature to decriminalize driving on a suspended license. She moved to have the article removed from the resolution, which was denied by board Chairwoman Sharon Bronson.