Senate Must Defeat the American Health Care Act

(BOSTON, MA)Statement of Robert Restuccia, executive director of Community Catalyst, in response to passage of the American Health Care Act today in the House of Representatives.

“House Republicans have just voted to take health care away from their constituents to pay for tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans and huge corporations. They should be ashamed.

“Though the original House GOP bill was terrible for consumers, incredibly, the bill supported by President Trump and passed by a Republican majority in the House today is even worse. If the American Health Care Act becomes law, it would strip at least 24 million people of their health care coverage, reversing years of progress and returning many people to the days when they lived one health crisis away from financial ruin or even death. The bill would undermine coverage for millions of people with preexisting health conditions like cancer and diabetes. Premiums could increase by 20 percent and out-of-pocket costs would raise dramatically for millions more, particularly for people over the age of 50, who could see an average annual increase of $3,200.

“Through deep cuts and radical changes to Medicaid, the bill strikes a cruel blow to the most vulnerable members of our community: children, people with disabilities, people seeking treatment for substance use disorders and seniors. Children from low-income families could be denied critical preventive services including screenings for vision and hearing, immunizations and treatment for mental health issues. People struggling with opioid addiction could lose coverage and access to life-saving treatment. States would be under severe financial pressure, which could lead to sharp cuts in the services older adults and persons with disabilities need to remain in their own homes.

“Clearly, GOP members of the House who voted for this bill have not listened to their constituents, doctors, nurses, patient groups, local hospitals or health care providers – or even to their Republican governors – who have all raised deep concerns about the harm it would do to their lives, families and communities. The Senate should soundly defeat this bill, and Congress should work to improve upon the gains made by the Affordable Care Act, not work to unravel them.”

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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.

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