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.
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:
By Amelia Collins, Policy Analyst, UnidosUS
The House and Senate are set to return to the nation’s capital next week after a month-long recess and an ambitious agenda awaits them. Funding for the federal government runs out on September 30, and neither chamber has voted on a complete funding package for fiscal year 2018. Even though the House passed four of 12 spending bills before breaking for recess, they included $1.6 billion for the construction of a border wall, which has little chance of passing in the Senate.
What’s at stake in the upcoming budget debate? Overall spending levels for FY18. Under the Budget Control Act of 2011, sequestration returns this upcoming fiscal year. That matters because the House-passed “security bus” blew through the cap for defense spending to the tune of $72 billion.
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.
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.
The American Health Care Act could result in 23 million Americans left without health coverage by 2026
Today the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirmed what most Americans suspected: the latest version of the “American Health Care Act” (AHCA) is even worse than the first version introduced in the House of Representatives. The nonpartisan office estimates that more than $834 billion would be cut from Medicaid and 23 million people would have their health coverage taken away, endangering their health and opportunities.
We are deeply concerned about Medicaid cuts that would fundamentally restructure this program that has served as a safety net for more than 50 years. The White House budget proposal released yesterday confirmed the Trump administration’s intent to slash this lifeline for millions of people despite research that shows a majority of Americans oppose decreasing Medicaid funding (74 percent) and support the program (54 percent).
Today the president released his first full budget proposal for the fiscal year 2018, and it’s as bad as we expected. Included in the plan are drastic cuts to many of the most successful assistance programs that have helped working and middle-class families move ahead during tough economic times. It would cut $1.7 trillion in funding that provides a lifeline to millions of Americans, and it would gut key programs that help families afford food, housing, and health care.
A budget is a moral document that should reflect our values. The Trump Budget is an assault on children and working families.
By Amelia Collins, Policy Analyst, NCLR
Next Tuesday, the Trump administration is expected to release its full fiscal year 2018 (FY18) budget request, which will be a blueprint for funding levels for federal programs. Many of those programs, like nutrition assistance for families, affordable housing initiatives, early childhood education opportunities, and Medicaid and Social Security, help millions of Americans.
If the “skinny budget” Trump released in March is any indication, the full Trump budget will gut programs that provide basic living standards for millions of low-income Americans to pay for tax cuts for millionaires, to increase defense spending, and to ramp up immigration enforcement by funding an unnecessary wall and a deportation force.