I am a physical therapist. I have cared for patients with cancer, diabetes, mental health, chronic pain and cardiac conditions. Many of my patients were uninsured before the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) because they could not afford insurance or because of pre-existing conditions. Before the ACA, many saw the emergency room as their access to medical care. Because of the lack of care, by the time they came to see me, their health had deteriorated. For diabetics, without preventative medicine and regular check-ups, this often meant the loss of a leg due to unchecked nerve damage and skin ulcers to the feet.

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Should the American Health Care Act (aka Trumpcare) pass, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that over 24 million people will lose coverage and unfortunately, children will not be spared. This means, children born prematurely or with physical or mental disabilities as well as those with asthma, muscular dystrophy or autism or any other pre-existing condition, would no longer be covered.

Patrick M. Magoon, president and CEO of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, says, “Children cannot lobby or vote. Our society has a responsibility to ensure that children are not harmed as the nation considers changes to the Medicaid program. If we get it wrong, we will jeopardize their health and potentially increase the ultimate costs of their care.”

I am greatly disturbed that Republican U.S. Reps. Peter Roskam, Mike Bost, Rodney Davis, Randy Hultgren, John Shimkus, Adam Kinzinger and Darrin LaHood would vote for the AHCA and put countless Illinois lives in jeopardy. Shame on them for putting party over the people of Illinois.

Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth, Chicago

Displaying ignorance

President Donald Trump once again displayed his ignorance of American history with his discourse on Andrew Jackson and the Civil War. The president does have one thing in common with Old Hickory. Jackson’s goal was to virtually rid this country of native Americans not unlike Trump’s approach to members of the Muslim faith. Trump has repeatedly displayed his lack of qualifications to hold the office of the presidency.

And now with his latest attack on the poor and needy with his health care plan he has proven true on one thing he said during the campaign. During one rally he stated that “I love the uneducated.” And apparently they love him even though they are ones most likely to suffer and loose their health care as a result of his actions.

Daniel Pupo, Orland Park

Lack of empathy

Most of us will at some time or another have to visit a doctor and seek treatment for a condition or illness insignificant or catastrophic. When members of Congress and their families face such a health issue, they are assured of high-quality care because members watch out for themselves and have made sure to preserve their own benefits.

No such luck for 24 million of us on Medicaid or individual health plans. Because of the meanness and total lack of empathy exhibited by President Donald Trump and his Republican congressional cronies, the rest of must now agonize over whether we will be able to afford premiums and deductibles, or worse, become ineligible for health insurance at all if TrumpCare becomes law.

Its draconian measures threaten to oust anyone with a pre-existing conditions. The Republicans have indeed shown their true colors. They care only about the win and their own self-interest, and definitely not about representing and looking out for the best interests of Americans.

Wendy Siegel, Roscoe Village

All of us pay the bills

Former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh now famously tweeted, “Sorry Jimmy Kimmel: your sad story doesn’t obligate me or anybody else to pay for somebody else’s health care.”

I get it: He and Paul Ryan don’t want to pay for other people’s sick babies to get better. (Sorry, sick babies!) But does he not realize that without the ACA, we are already paying for others’ health care? Who do you think pays the bills when people walk away from their emergency-room visit? Who do you think pays the bills when people declare bankruptcy due to medical debt? All of us.

The AHCA is not only heartless, it’s also a great way to go from a somewhat inefficient way to spread the costs around, to an extremely inefficient way to spread the costs around, all while hurting health outcomes. Thanks, Congress!

Virginia Rounds, Lincoln Square

Vote them out

I am shocked and dismayed that U.S. Reps. Peter Roskam, Randy Hultgren and Adam Kinziger have chosen to vote for the so-called American Healthcare Act and to strip coverage from thousands of their constituents in order to provide a fat tax break to the richest 1 percent of the country. All three of them, and for that matter the rest of the Illinois Republican caucus, deserve to be voted out of office.

Tom Scudder, Albany Park