(BOSTON, MA) – Statement of Robert Restuccia, executive director of Community Catalyst, in response to today’s release of the Senate Republican health care repeal bill.
“It’s no wonder Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been reluctant to release his health care repeal plan – it’s essentially the massively unpopular American Health Care Act in sheep’s clothing. The bill, which Senate Republicans negotiated behind closed doors, with no public hearings or input, would cause millions of Americans to lose coverage, raise costs for millions more and eviscerate Medicaid. It would also allow insurance companies to deny coverage for maternity care, mental health care and substance use treatment and defund Planned Parenthood – all to provide a tax cut windfall to the wealthiest Americans and corporations.
“The bill’s proposed cuts and radical restructuring of Medicaid would inflict far-reaching damage that would reverberate in every community across the country, crippling rural hospitals, squeezing state budgets, and forcing states to lower payments to doctors and make even steeper cuts to care and to important priorities such as education, transportation and efforts to address the opioid epidemic.
“Yesterday, President Trump said he hoped for a plan ‘with heart.’ There’s no heart in a plan that would threaten health care coverage for vulnerable children. There’s no heart in a plan that would take away home care services that allow seniors to live independently in their own homes. There’s no heart in a plan that cuts coverage for life-saving alcohol and drug treatment for people who desperately need it. There’s no heart in a plan that would allow insurance companies to charge older Americans on modest incomes five times more for their health care. This bill would do all those things – there is no heart in it.
“Clearly, there’s a strong disconnect between the kinds of health care policy coming out of Washington and what the American people actually want. The American people soundly rejected the American Health Care Act, and this bill is no better. Members of the Senate should reject it.”
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.