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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Healthy and Wealthy Benefit under the House Republicans’ Affordable Care Act Repeal Plan

Lydia Mitts

Associate Director of Affordability Initiatives

If you have money and don’t get sick, you’ll like the new bill House Republicans released last night that repeals the Affordable Care Act. This bill benefits the wealthy and healthy at the expense of the poor and sick. It would strip coverage from millions of people and drive up consumer health care costs. 

What we know the bill does: 

  • Substantially reduces the premium subsidies that help millions afford health insurance through the exchanges (marketplaces). 
  • Ends financial assistance for 6.3 million lower-income people that t helps them reduce their out-of-pocket costs like deductibles. Many of these lower income families could see their deductibles increase by as much as $5,500. 
  • Ends the Medicaid expansion that extended health coverage to millions more. See which states would be affected.
  • Ends Medicaid as people in America now know it, potentially saddling states with new health care costs by placing a cap on what the federal government will pay states for each person covered by their Medicaid program. More about why per-capita caps are a bad idea.
  • Provides billions of dollars in tax cuts to the wealthy and billion-dollar corporations. These tax cuts for the rich are paid for by taking health care away from lower-income working families and putting at risk the health care of millions of children, seniors, and people with disabilities.
  • Ends funding for Planned Parenthood

People with serious chronic illnesses will be hurt the most, left only with bare-bone coverage that comes with drastically higher deductibles. These individuals will once again be forced to go without lifesaving treatment or go into debt to get the care they need.

What we don’t know: The bill’s full impact on the federal budget. In a highly irregular move, House Republicans are rushing this bill through committees without releasing a formal cost estimate from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which analyzes how much federal legislation will cost or save American taxpayers—known as a “score.” [Update: Here's our summary of the CBO score released on March 13.]

Americans deserve an open and honest debate about a bill that will affect millions of people. It’s clear given the harmful policies in this bill that millions of people will lose coverage. It’s wildly reckless for the Republicans to move forward without independent analysis of the full damage these policies will inflict on families and on the federal budget.

Donald Trump promised that “we’re going to have insurance for everybody . . . [but it will be] much less expensive and much better.” This bill reveals those promises for what they always were: empty campaign rhetoric.

What you can do: Contact your representatives

Call 866-426-2631

Use the toll-free line above provided by our friends at SEIU. Here are the messages you could convey: 

  • Lawmakers should not vote on the bill until they know the impact it will have on the federal budget and, more importantly, the more than 20 million people who have gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Demand that lawmakers follow the normal procedures, hold formal hearings, and wait to vote until the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reviews the bill and gives it a score.

RESOURCES: Families USA Talking Points on the American Health Care Act

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