Senators’ Bill Would Roll Back Health Care Reforms
Washington – Regardless of their rhetoric, Republican Senators Bill Cassidy (La.) and Susan Collins (Maine) have not introduced a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act.
“The bill being trumpeted by Sens. Cassidy and Collins as a replacement of the Affordable Care Act is anything but,” said NHeLP Executive Director Elizabeth G. Taylor. “A cursory examination of the measure reveals that it would do away with many of the features that have made the Affordable Care Act successful, would increase health care costs for all Americans, and would jeopardize the health care coverage of millions because states could decide not to offer coverage. Further, the bill does not bar insurers from discriminating against individuals living with pre-existing conditions.”
Taylor added, “Before rolling back health care reform, the president and Congress must show Americans a detailed plan for moving forward and the plan must leave no one worse off than they currently are. We know that if the ACA is repealed nearly 30 million will lose health care coverage and millions more will see their health care costs soar. What is the Republicans’ answer to that dire outcome? A bill that fails to ensure that Americans will continue to have access to the quality health care that they now have via the ACA is no plan for replacement. It is nothing more than an attempt to divert public attention from a hasty effort to yank quality care from tens of millions of Americans, an outcome that will fall hardest on the most vulnerable among us.
Like other proposals floated by Republican lawmakers, the Cassidy-Collins bill, if enacted, would make health care much less affordable, reduce Medicaid eligibility, and lower the quality of care Americans can access. This bill does highlight questions that Republican lawmakers appear bent on trying to avoid, such as how will current protections for people with pre-existing conditions be protected? Will everyone covered by Medicaid today continue to be covered? Will insurance companies continue to be barred from charging women more than men for health care coverage? Will insurance companies in every state continue to be required to cover check-ups for children and preventive health care services for women without co-pays? Will mental health, substance abuse treatment and prescription drugs still be covered at the same level as they are pursuant to the ACA?
Lawmakers in Congress must do better than this, and must be honest about it. All evidence points to lawmakers who aren’t serious about ensuring access to health care for everyone, and who are prepared to send us back to a time of rising uninsured rates and out-of-control health care costs.”
NHeLP will continue to fight efforts to undo health care reform. Millions of families have benefited from the ACA and Medicaid expansion and their lives will be imperiled by its demise. We will continue to tell their stories and fight for their health. NHeLP is encouraging people nationwide to share stories of the importance of the ACA through this form.
NHeLP has also published the following material explaining the dangers of repealing the ACA and the efforts to limit federal spending on Medicaid that are on the horizon:
Please contact the NHeLP Communications department at [email protected] or 202-552-5176 for further comment regarding the political efforts to undo health care reform and the Medicaid guarantee.
NHeLP, founded in 1969, advocates for the rights of low-income and underserved people to access quality health care.