(BOSTON, MA) – Statement of Robert Restuccia, executive director of Community Catalyst, in response to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) score of the Better Care Reconciliation Act released today.
“The CBO score of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) reinforces what we already knew, that this bill would have a devastating impact on consumers and our nation’s health system. According to the CBO’s analysis, if the BCRA becomes law, 15 million people would lose their health care coverage in 2018 – increasing to 22 million by 2026.
“After weeks of secrecy and promises of a ‘better bill’ than the House-passed legislation, there is very little to indicate that the Senate took any meaningful steps to change the fact that millions will lose their health care, especially through a complete restructuring and evisceration of the Medicaid program. The CBO found that the BCRA would slash Medicaid by 26 percent, or $772 billion dollars, undermining coverage for children, people with disabilities and older adults just so the wealthiest Americans and CEOs can get a tax break they don’t need. Moreover, this score hides the worst of the Medicaid cuts, since the Senate bill deepens the cuts to federal Medicaid funds starting in 2025 – at the end of the 10-year time period considered by the CBO in this score.
“The Medicaid cuts in the BCRA 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 crisis.
“The BCRA 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 provisions in the BCRA once again show the willingness of Republican leaders in Congress to put the needs of millionaires and billionaires ahead of the needs of their constituents, state budgets, health care providers, hospitals and the U.S. economy. It is irresponsible and thoughtless for senators to rush to vote on this harmful bill that would have far-reaching consequences on the health of millions of Americans.”
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.