(BOSTON, MA) – Statement of Robert Restuccia, executive director of Community Catalyst, in response to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) score of the American Health Care Act released today.
“The CBO score of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) reinforces why the American public and nearly every group representing patients, doctors, nurses and hospitals are united in strong opposition to this disastrous bill. According to the CBO’s analysis, if the AHCA becomes law, 14 million people would lose their health care coverage in 2018 – increasing to 23 million by 2026. The bill’s radical restructuring of Medicaid would shift billions in new costs onto states, cripple hospitals and undermine coverage for children with special health care needs, people with disabilities and seniors who need help to stay in their own homes so wealthy Americans and CEOs can get a tax break.
“The AHCA would also undermine coverage for millions of people with preexisting health conditions like cancer and diabetes. Premiums and out-of-pocket costs could increase dramatically, particularly for people over the age of 50 with modest incomes.
“The AHCA is a Trojan Horse. The House congressional Republicans claim they are “fixing” the Affordable Care Act, but what they are really doing is unraveling Medicaid through draconian $834 billion in cuts that would punish the most vulnerable – children, people with disabilities, people seeking treatment for substance use disorders and seniors. These Medicaid cuts would blow a hole in state budgets, forcing states to lower payments to doctors and make even steeper cuts to care and important priorities such as education, transportation and efforts to address the opioid epidemic.
“Breaking his campaign promise, President Trump doubled down on this disastrous legislation in his budget proposal, which calls for billions more in cuts on top of those already in the AHCA. Like the House bill, the president’s budget would use the money to finance massive tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.
“The House members who voted for this bill did so knowing it would take health care away from millions of people to give tax breaks to millionaires and big corporations despite the objections of their constituents, and they just didn’t care. They now own the consequences of their decision.
“Members of the Senate must reject the proposals put forward in this bill and work to improve upon the gains made under the Affordable Care Act.”
About Community Catalyst
Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers, and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, courtrooms, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Read our blog at http://blog.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @healthpolicyhub.