New Senate proposal jeopardizes health coverage for millions of AmericansAround the Nation, Online Only, Top Highlights Friday, July 14th, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC — Senate Republicans unveiled a revised version of their health care repeal bill Thursday. While the Congressional Budget Office has yet to score this latest draft of the legislation, a previous projection estimated the legislation will result in 22 million Americans losing their health insurance by 2026 — with 15 million losing their insurance by the end of next year.
Responding to he latest iteration of the bill HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy said, “Today, Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell released a new draft that would still rip health care from millions of people, with a particularly devastating impact on low-income senior citizens, women, children, LGBTQ people, and people living with HIV. Any health care proposal should improve the lives of individuals — not put them at risk.This version of the bill is just as bad as the previous ones. With people’s lives on the line, we urge the Senate to stop this madness and reject this harmful piece of legislation.”
Like the prior versions, the most recent bill undermines core provisions of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a result of the ACA, thousands of low-income people living with HIV have been able to obtain health insurance through the Medicaid expansion. This critical coverage ensures that people living with HIV have access to lifesaving treatments. The bill’s drastic changes to Medicaid will likely strip these people, and other vulnerable populations, of essential healthcare coverage.
Amanda Ballantyne, national director of Main Street Alliance, a national network of small business owners, criticized the new legislation saying the new bill will make the lives of millions of Americans harder.
“There is nothing in the Senate’s latest version of a health care bill that indicates the GOP is addressing the needs of small businesses on Main Street across America. The revised bill doesn’t help working people, low-income people, the elderly, and certainly not small business owners. On the contrary, the GOP seems intent on putting forward legislation that makes the lives of tens of million Americans harder by sending deductibles through the roof, removing protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and gutting Medicaid – essentially making people pay more money for less health care – in order to further pad the pockets of insurance companies and the very wealthy. This bill has long been broken, and today’s do nothing but smear the lipstick that was already on the pig.”
Beyond repealing these key provisions of the ACA, the bill would also cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which could jeopardize the ability of clinics to deliver preventive health services, including HIV testing and transition-related care. The ACA’s public health and prevention fund, established to expand investments in the nation’s public health infrastructure, would also be repealed. Health centers, like those operated by Planned Parenthood, often offer the only culturally competent healthcare available, especially in rural and isolated areas.
In considering the ACA in 2009 and 2010, the House held 79 hearings over the course of a year, heard from 181 witnesses and accepted 121 amendments. The current House leadership has moved this unacceptable repeal and replacement legislation through the House in a matter of weeks. The Senate adopted the ACA only after approximately 100 hearings, roundtables, walkthroughs and other meetings, and after 25 consecutive days in continuous session debating the bill.
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