Thirty weeks. That’s how long we – concerned consumers, advocates and stakeholders – sustained a grassroots movement that forced Congressional Republicans to show us their cards before repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Eight weeks. That’s how long it took Paul Ryan and House Republicans to pass a bill that would drastically reshape the American health care system by gutting Medicaid, striping more than 20 million people of their health insurance and dismantling the most important consumer protections in the ACA.
House Republicans might claim victory today, but we know that there’s nothing worth celebrating in a bill that would:
- Cut Medicaid funding by $839 billion forcing states to raise taxes, lower payments to doctors and take away health coverage from children, seniors and people with disabilities.
- Give the wealthiest Americans a tax break while throwing at least 24 million low- and moderate-income families off of their health coverage.
- Allow insurance companies to charge older adults five times more for the same coverage as a young adult.
- Undermine efforts to address the opioid crisis.
- Reverses a long- standing commitment to protect low-income children by allowing states to cut benefits, roll back eligibility and deny children comprehensive preventive care needed to stay healthy.
- Give states permission to get rid of the Essential Health Benefits that cover vital services like maternity care and mental health services.
- Weaken the ACA’s protections against catastrophic costs for people with employer-sponsored coverage.
- Gut the protections for people with preexisting conditions by sending us back to the days when insurance companies could charge people with preexisting conditions more for their coverage.
Paul Ryan and President Trump claimed they would repeal the ACA immediately after the inauguration. They didn’t. Next, they were certain it would be on the president’s desk by President’s Day. It wasn’t. Then, it was destined to pass the House on the ACA’s anniversary. It didn’t. Surely, by April recess it would be ready for the Senate. Never happened.
We’ve stopped it before, and we will stop it again. The AHCA is bad for the American people, and it’s time that the U.S. Senate hears this loud and clear.