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.
It has been a confusing and unpredictable past few days, but one thing is clear: the fight to protect our health care is not over. Senate Republicans are continuing their reckless quest to pass legislation that would cause tens of millions of Americans—including Latinos—to lose their health coverage.
No matter how many tweaks they make or what name they give it—whether they call it the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) or the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act (ORRA)–the Senate Republican plan is dangerous. It would cause at least 20 million more Americans to become uninsured and make deep cuts to Medicaid, all while giving a giant tax cut to the wealthiest Americans.
In May, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would strip health coverage from 23 million Americans and slash more than $800 billion in federal funding from the Medicaid program. Yesterday, the Senate GOP released its proposal and it is just as cruel as the House version, if not more so, including even deeper cuts in federal funding to the Medicaid program. This proposal is a threat to millions of Americans, including Latinos.
This week Families USA and NCLR released new state fact sheets highlighting just how much is at stake for Latino children and families in states like Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and Florida. Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, more than 20 million Americans have gained health insurance, including more than four million Latino adults and 600,000 children. In states like Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and Florida, these gains have been particularly significant, especially when it comes to children’s access to health care. Those gains are now in jeopardy.
By David Thomsen, Policy Analyst, Health Policy Project, NCLR
Last week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirmed what many advocates and experts feared—the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is bad news for Americans.
The CBO’s latest estimate on the real-world effect of the AHCA finds that 23 million Americans would lose their health coverage by 2026. This estimate is due in large part because this bill decimates Medicaid, which helps children, seniors, and the disabled access health coverage. These cuts total an almost incomprehensible $834 billion and would force states to cut Medicaid benefits, cut enrollment in the program, or both. No state’s Medicaid program would be spared, and access to health care would be jeopardized for millions of people.
By Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR
Some simple ways to evaluate the new congressional health care plan: when children are covered, they are healthier and do better in school. If they stay healthy, they will have more opportunities as adults. When families are covered, they are better protected from crippling medical debt and homelessness. When more people are covered, our country’s productivity and economic well-being are secured.
The “American Health Care Act” that House congressional leaders proposed last week will drop millions of children and working families from their Medicaid programs. It dismantles health care as we know it, trading in coverage of our nation’s most vulnerable populations for a financial windfall benefiting the wealthy few. And in an analysis released just this week, the Congressional Budget Office gave us our clearest picture yet of the harm the GOP proposal would inflict. The CBO estimates that 14 million people would lose coverage by 2018, 24 million by 2026, and federal Medicaid spending would be reduced by $880 billion over the next 10 years. In short, the historic coverage gains we’ve made over the past few years would be wiped away.