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.
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.
Read the entire written testimony below:
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.
The fight to save health care this week culminated in a dramatic series of events on the floor of the U.S. Senate last night. With just three Republican votes, the final attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or the “skinny repeal” bill, failed to muster the 50 votes needed to advance the bill. Senators Lisa Murkowsk (R-Alaska), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and John McCain (R-Ariz.) cast the votes the Democrats needed to secure the bill’s failure.
In response to the vote and the other votes to repeal the ACA that were taken this week, UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía issued the following statement:
“Once again, the Republican Senate has failed in their inexplicable effort to move ahead with a plan to gut the Affordable Care Act,” said UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguia. “The bills they brought to a vote this week, which are among the worst pieces of domestic legislation to ever come before the Senate, would have left millions of Americans uninsured, slashed funding from the Medicaid program, and eliminated critical consumer protections. So-called ‘Trumpcare’ was so widely unpopular across this country, in fact, that only 13% of Americans supported it. We thank senators who voted based on the best interests of their constituencies and of the American people instead of caving in to political pressure.