Major legislation affecting the health and lives of thousands of Arizonans is being crafted by a small group of U.S. Senators – in secret and without public discussion or chances for amendment and compromise.

Other than vague statements about “improving” the American Health Care Act passed by the House of Representatives in May, and about “fixing” the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), Senators are not providing any information about policy changes or impact on health care access and affordability.

More than a million individuals in Arizona with pre-existing conditions are estimated to lose coverage under the House’s version of the legislation. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that more than 450,000 in Arizona would lose access to health insurance, whether employer-sponsored, Medicaid, or market policies. Without knowing specific proposals, and without any public hearings or CBO analysis, we cannot know whether the Senate bill will be better or worse than the House version.

Voting on such important legislation without analysis or chance for public hearings and discussion is a terrible violation of America’s representative form of government. Please call or email the offices of Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake to insist upon open committee hearings and full discussion of the legislation’s specifics before any Senate vote.

LAURA HUENNEKE

Flagstaff

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