I knew we’d have a fight on our hands to defend the progress made by the Obama administration in reforming our health care system. I wake up every day recognizing that millions of my fellow Floridians could lose coverage and access if the current Administration’s efforts to undermine the health care law are successful.

I admit there are problems with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But we can’t afford to start over, as some are suggesting with their health care proposals. Why would people support that and lose the health care they enjoy?

With the passage of the ACA, millions of Americans could obtain coverage they never had before: 91% of Americans have insurance for the first time in American history. As President of the Pinellas County Young Democrats, I’ve seen the importance of young people staying on their parents’ insurance until age twenty-six, and the impact of the new protections for people with pre-existing conditions. We need to build on the advances we’ve made so far on health coverage that more than 180 million Americans rely on.

Congress should be focusing on common-sense policies to cover the remaining 9 percent of Americans still worried about what will happen if they or their family member gets sick or goes to the hospital — not upending our health care system through sweeping, unrealistic and unattainable legislation.

With the 2018 elections approaching, we must support candidates who prioritize pragmatic, patient-centered health care policies. We need leadership in Washington willing to work hard to preserve the current health coverage that millions enjoy and fix what isn’t working to make health care accessible for all Americans.

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Johnny Boykins is president of the Pinellas County Young Democrats.

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