Last week, we saw a remarkable defeat of the latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Graham-Cassidy bill would have stripped millions of their health insurance, and undermined critical consumer protections. However, while the effort to repeal the ACA was unsuccessful, we still have several concerns with how its enforcement is being handled, due to the cuts to the window for open enrollment, the rollback of outreach efforts, in particular to the Latino community, and the fact that some members of Congress are still trying to undermine a law that helped millions of people access health care.
By David Thomsen, Policy Analyst, Health Policy Project, UnidosUS
The latest threat to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and gut the Medicaid program has been halted—for now. While this was certainly a positive development for our community, we must quickly pivot to critical work in other areas. One of our biggest concerns is that currently, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is at risk of ending and leaving nearly nine million children across the country without the affordable care they need to grow up healthy.
Last week, while Congress was focused on undermining the ACA, they missed the September 30 deadline to reauthorize funding for a program that last year insured nearly nine million children, including many Latino children. UnidosUS has called on Congress to reauthorize CHIP funding, without further delay, through written testimony to the Senate Finance Committee, which is responsible for this program.
Guest post by Amelie G. Ramirez, Director, Institute for Health Promotion Research, UT Health San Antonio
Did you know that U.S. Latino kids are far more likely than their peers to suffer depression and other mental health issues that often go untreated?
A new research review, Salud America! Mental Health & Latino Kidsby our Salud America! national network for healthy change at UT Health San Antonio, examines the latest science on the state of mental health among Latino kids, and shares policy recommendations.
The review shows that violence, discrimination, migration, poverty, bullying, and family issues impact Latino children’s mental health and access to mental health care in different ways.
Today UnidosUS President and CEO, Janet Murguia, submitted written testimony outlining our opposition to the Affordable Care Act repeal bill known as the Graham-Cassidy bill. The Senate Finance Committee hearing is the only hearing that will be held for consideration of the legislation. Senators must pass the bill by the end of the week, Sept. 30, in order for it to be considered under budget conciliation rules, which require a simple majority of 51 votes. UnidosUS strongly opposes Graham-Cassidy as it would reverse course on the historic gains Latinos have since the Affordlabe Care Act became the law of the land.
A bipartisan group of governors have sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) urging him not to bring the Cassidy-Graham health care bill to the Senate floor. Read the full letter below.