East Tennessee cancer survivor to discuss health care bill with senators in DC

Michael Holtz

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – An East Tennessee man will meet his senators in Washington D.C. on Tuesday to explain why they should vote no on the health care bill. Michael Holtz is a cancer survivor and plans to meet Senators Corker and Alexander. This comes after the Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, revealed the Senate’s proposed bill would leave an additional 22 million people uninsured by 2026.

“My immediate reaction to that is it’s very scary,” said Holtz.

Related: Budget office: Senate health bill adds 22 million uninsured

Holtz is a cancer survivor, but his disease could come back. He’s going to the nation’s capital to fight for himself and thousands of other Tennesseans who could be affected.

“I may have to pay expenses out of pocket, and I don’t want to have to worry about the financial aspect of treating a disease,” he said.

WATE 6 On Your Side health care expert Craig Griffith was not surprised by the CBO score. He noted that the Senate bill isn’t much different from the House one.

“It’s going to take away a safety net for people that need help with their medical expenses,” said Griffith.

The CBO also found the Senate bill would reduce deficits by $321 billion over the next decade. In addition, premiums would likely rise but then fall. By 2020, the average premium for the benchmark plan would be 30 percent lower than under current law.

“I think you could probably summarize that the Senate bill is more of a deficit reduction than a health care bill,” Griffith said.

The possibility of paying large amounts out of pocket concerns Holtz. He hopes the senators will consider voting no.

“I hope he will take our stories to heart,” said Holtz.

Holtz has two meetings planned Tuesday. One will be in the morning at an event the senators host every Tuesday. The other will be later in the afternoon with the lawmaker’s staffers. It is not guaranteed that the senators will be there, but he said he hopes they will come.

 

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