Senate Should Reject Measure Aimed at Repealing the ACA and Destroying Medicaid
Washington – The amended American Health Care Act (AHCA), hastily passed by the House of Representatives in May, would yank health care coverage from 23 million low-income individuals, and limit access to care for millions of others according to the Congressional Budget Office’s report released today. The nonpartisan CBO report also notes that $834 billion will be cut from Medicaid over the course of ten years. The Senate must reject any “health care” bill that repeals the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and cuts Medicaid funding.
“Today’s CBO report underscores the extreme damage that AHCA would do to the entire health care system, by returning the country to the days of high uninsured rates and spiraling health care costs for individuals and states,” said National Health Law Program (NHeLP) Executive Director Elizabeth G. Taylor. “AHCA sacrifices the health care of millions of vulnerable people to pay for tax breaks for the wealthiest in this country. The Senate should reject the calculated, reckless austerity policy of the House bill and work to preserve health care for millions of individuals and families.”
NHeLP Managing Attorney of the DC Office Mara Youdelman said the Senate needs to focus on strengthening the health care system, rather than tearing it apart.
“Whatever bill comes out of the Senate needs to guarantee that low-income people – a disproportionate number of whom are women, children, people with disabilities, and people of color – keep access to vital health care coverage,” Youdelman said. “The best way to do this, despite the rhetoric from the GOP, is to preserve and improve the ACA and Medicaid, including Medicaid expansion. Both programs are popular with the general public and, perhaps more important, touch the lives of an increasingly large percentage of the American people. A recent Kaiser Health News tracking poll shows that more than 65 percent of Americans approve of Medicaid. This number is only going to go up. Medicaid provides home- and community-based services to people with disabilities to allow them to live in their communities and not institutions, pays for the vast majority of nursing home care for the elderly, ensures children can learn in school and grow up to be productive, and provides vital family planning services and pre-natal care to women. Medicaid matters to 74 million individuals and Congress should not cut Medicaid merely to hit a budget target but rather find ways to improve the program.”
Please contact NHeLP’s Director of Communications Jeremy Leaming for more comment about NHeLP’s mission and work.
NHeLP, founded in 1969, advocates for the rights of low-income and underserved people to access quality health care.