Vote Opens Door for Bills That Would Also Include Devastating Cuts to Medicaid
Washington – Senate Republicans today barreled ahead with their wildly unpopular goal of repealing the landmark Affordable Care Act and severely restricting Medicaid funding.
The procedural vote – called a Motion to Proceed – opens the door for the Senate to revive its so-called Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA) and allow senators to restructure it with amendments that would lead to the same place – a bill to repeal the ACA and slash Medicaid.
“Senate leadership is ignoring pleas from constituents to ensure they do not lose their health care coverage. It is ignoring the advice from health care professionals and advocates that repealing the Affordable Care Act and gutting Medicaid will destroy our health care system and return us to days of rising uninsured rates and health care costs for all families,” said National Health Law Program Executive Director Elizabeth G. Taylor. “The Trump administration and its allies in Congress are seemingly bent on taking health care away from people. They are not intent on working to make our health care system even stronger and accessible to all people regardless of income. As a candidate for president Donald Trump said on several occasions that no one would lose health care coverage under his plan. Now he is loudly supporting plans in the Senate that if enacted into law would strip health care coverage from at least 22 million individuals and families, with the most vulnerable among us being the hardest hit.”
Managing Attorney of the DC office Mara Youdelman said the Senate leadership is placing Trump’s hopes for a legislative victory above the health care concerns of individuals and families.
“The underlying bill cannot be fixed. It repeals integral provisions of the ACA, which would essentially kill the law and it proposes ending the funding structure of Medicaid,” Youdelman said. “The leadership is still pushing caps on Medicaid, which will result in more than $750 billion being cut from the program over ten years. Those cuts will lead to tens of millions of individuals losing access to vital health care coverage in all parts of the country. The amendments that conservative Republicans will propose, such as the one from Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), are unworkable and would do nothing to help people who will lose their health care coverage if the Senate is successful in passing this severe measure. The Senate efforts are really about taking money from the health care system to fund tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations. This is a sham bill; it has nothing to do with ensuring affordable health care coverage for individuals and families.”
Please contact NHeLP’s Director of Communications Jeremy Leaming for further comment on the Senate’s effort to repeal the ACA and gut Medicaid funding.
NHeLP, founded in 1969, advocates for the rights of low-income and underserved people to access quality health care.