Limiting Health Care
For far too long our health care system has been in need of real reform. We all have friends, family members, and neighbors who couldn't get quality health coverage because it was too expensive or they were denied because of an illness. There has been a strong effort to improve the quality, availability, and affordability of health care for all Washingtonians. But you may be surprised to discover that Jan Angel has voted to limit standards of care and benefits for women, kids, and seniors.
Our seniors worked hard and made sacrifices on the promise that Social Security would be there for them when they retired. Our country and our state should keep that promise. But organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) are trying to privatize Social Security, meaning reduced benefits and service cuts for seniors. Jan Angel serves as the state co-chair for ALEC1 and received ALEC'S Legislator of the Year Award.2
Recent health insurance reforms have lowered health care costs and expanded coverage to millions of previously uninsured Americans. Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions, and millions of young people have been able to retain health insurance in an unstable economy. With so much progress being made, where was Rep. Angel? You might be surprised to hear that she voted to block and de-fund many of these reforms in Washington state.3
Washington's state health care standards entitle our residents to a more complete set of basic services, but Angel supported legislation to relax these standards and reduce coverage.4 This could eliminate coverage for mammograms, diabetes, autism screening, and maternity care. It turns out some of Angel's biggest campaign donors are health insurance and pharmaceuticals companies that would financially benefit from these more lax standards.
The cost of prescription medications can be an unexpected and undue financial burden, especially on seniors with fixed-incomes. Yet every year pharmaceutical companies, doctors, and wholesalers discard millions of bottles of medication that could otherwise improve, extend, and save lives. Instead of being thrown away, these perfectly safe medications could be offered to low-income and uninsured persons at a reduced cost. When the state legislature considered creating a program to do just that, Jan Angel was one of only 14 representatives to vote against it.5 That's not what our seniors need to be healthy and secure.
Still have questions? Read our full fact-check on Angel's donations from insurance companies here.