Senate Leaders Renew Push for Bill to Repeal the Affordable Care Act

Senate Leaders Renew Push for Bill to Repeal the Affordable Care Act

Republicans’ Revised Bill Still Guts Medicaid Funding

Washington  – Senate leadership refuses to give up on repealing the landmark Affordable Care Act, with a revised bill that still radically slashes Medicaid funding and would give states the ability to offer insufficient health care plans that do not comply with the Affordable Care Act. 
Senate leaders are touting the revisions as enhancing and improving their repeal bill – for example they are highlighting a provision they say will limit the severity of Medicaid caps and block grants for states that experience public health emergencies. That drop in the bucket does not address the major problem: the overall cap on Medicaid funding remains in place, which will fundamentally re-shape the program to limit the number of individuals, children, people with disabilities and seniors who are covered and will shift enormous health care costs to the states. 
Today’s “draft discussion bill” also includes a provision from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), which would allow health insurers to offer plans that fall outside the parameters of the ACA – meaning insurers could offer “bare bones” plans attractive to younger adults. But this would mean individuals with pre-existing conditions would face ever increasing costs and those who bought bare bones plans would face a six month lock-out from purchasing comprehensive plans if they get sick.

National Health Law Program (NHeLP) Executive Director Elizabeth G. Taylor said the Senate leadership’s latest “health care” bill still contains all the provisions that helped make it a historically unpopular bill.

“The few revisions we have seen today do nothing to address the fact that this bill would repeal integral provisions of the Affordable Care Act and gut Medicaid funding,” Taylor said. “This bill, like its predecessor, is a destroyer of our health care system. It would set our country back decades in terms of health care reforms. Fewer people would be covered, more people would be stuck with inadequate health care plans and our health care industry would see big job losses, which in turn would harm state and local economies from coast to coast.”

NHeLP Managing Attorney of the DC Office Mara Youdelman said the Senate appears to be forging ahead without listening to constituents or health care professionals.

“Senate leadership appears out-of-touch and unconcerned about the health care system and driven exclusively by a desperate desire to provide the Trump administration a legislative victory,” Youdelman said. “This is no way to handle our health care system, since health is foundational for all of us, not to mention that these changes affect an enormous part of this country’s economy. We hope senators will stand up against the legislation, and urge the leadership to back off of trying to gut the ACA and Medicaid.”

Please contact NHeLP’s Director of Communications Jeremy Leaming for further comment on the Senate’s attempt to pass a health care bill. 

NHeLP, founded in 1969, advocates for the rights of low-income and underserved people to access quality health care.
Jeremy Leaming
Director of Communications
[email protected]

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