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I am very concerned about the inclusion of a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate in the Senate’s version of tax reform. Repealing the mandate without any replacement is indefensible.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 13 million Americans, which include thousands of Iowans, would lose their health care coverage over the next 10 years if the mandate is repealed.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley’s vote in the Senate Finance Committee to advance the bill means that he has already broken his promise to Iowans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Instead, he now supports “repeal and repeal.”

The Affordable Care Act relies on the individual mandate to compel healthy individuals to buy insurance coverage in order to balance the added costs of covering people with pre-existing conditions, who can’t be denied coverage anymore by insurance companies. The Iowa health care marketplace and those around the country will collapse as premiums skyrocket if the mandate is repealed.

Both U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, can still do the right thing and vote no on repeal and repeal. Contact your senators to let them know you oppose repeal and repeal.

Clay Pasqual

Des Moines

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