United Spinal’s president and CEO James Weisman recently sent a letter to President Trump requesting that he ensures a replacement plan is in place for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) before Congress takes action that will hurt the 45,000 members of our organization and the hundreds of thousands of paralyzed people residing in the United States.
January 23, 2017
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
I write on behalf of the 45,000 members of our organization and the hundreds of thousands of paralyzed people residing in the United States.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), and most specifically, its provision prohibiting health insurers from offering policies that exclude or limit coverage for pre-existing conditions, is the gateway to employment for paralyzed people. For generations, people with disabilities could not risk losing the support of government programs for their health care, like Medicaid and Medicare, to go back to work, or even seek employment for the first time, because their employers’ insurance policy would impose waiting periods before covering disabling conditions or not cover them at all. This kept people at home, who were educated, trained and employable, and dependent on taxpayers for their health care.
If the prohibition is repealed and the replacement does not protect those with pre-existing conditions, employment for our members and other people with disabilities is a largely illusory goal. The Affordable Care Act’s guarantee of health care regardless of disabling conditions could have become as significant in our nation’s history for people with disabilities as the Emancipation Proclamation was for black people.
For people with disabilities to live independently they need access to housing, transportation, employment and, most importantly, health care. As a candidate, you stated that the replacement would happen at the same time as the repeal. Recent news reports indicate that Congress may not agree.
Please reiterate your campaign commitment to keep the prohibition against pre-existing conditions and limitations out of any replacement legislation and ensure that the replacement plan exists before Congress takes action that will hurt our members and all people with disabilities.
Thank you for your consideration.
President & CEO
United Spinal Association