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AP FACT CHECK: Kimmel's take on health care harder to refute

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., center, listens as Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, speaks, accompanied by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

As a researcher in cancer prevention and control, I believe the Senate’s Graham-Cassidy bill would be a disaster for public health.

It would reduce funding for Medicaid, which in Missouri covers one-third of children, one-third of people with disabilities, 40 percent of births, and 60 percent of nursing home residents. The bill allows states to weaken coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, coverage of essential health benefits, and lifetime caps on a person’s care. In addition, the bill eliminates the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which supports public health programs to fight bioterrorism and promote immunization and cancer screening.

This bill is opposed by countless medical, health and consumer advocacy groups, including the March of Dimes, the American Medical Association, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society Action Network, the American Public Health Association and the AARP. When there is a consensus among so many experts and advocates, it behooves our elected officials to listen.

I am asking Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill, and Rep. Ann Wagner to oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill and not to support any health care proposal that cuts Medicaid, weakens coverage, or eliminates the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Instead, our elected representatives should work to find bipartisan solutions to expand coverage and keep it affordable for people in Missouri and across the United States.

Tess Thompson  •  Webster Groves