Senate Vote to Advance Health Care Repeal Puts Millions of Americans in Harm’s Way

BOSTON, MA -- Robert Restuccia, executive director of Community Catalyst, in response to Senate Republicans’ vote today in favor of a Motion to Proceed to a vote on the American Health Care Act, in an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“Today, Senate Republicans have brought us one step closer to passage of a disastrous bill that would hurt tens of millions of Americans, their own constituents and the states they represent. In voting to proceed to debate on a bill without knowing what is in it, they have violated their responsibility as representatives of the people of their state. Their audacious and heartless strategy of throwing any health care repeal plan against the wall to see if it sticks, while millions of lives hang in the balance, shows they are clearly more focused on playing politics than actually making health care better and more affordable for their constituents, despite what they and President Trump promised. This is outrageous, irresponsible and shameful.

“While we don’t yet know which amendments will be adopted in the coming debate, we do know that every bill the Senate Republican leadership has put forward would cause tens of millions of people to lose coverage, hike premiums for those who can least afford it and roll back critical consumer protections – all to shower millionaires, billionaires and corporations with tax cuts. And their proposal to gut Medicaid would not only put children, people with disabilities, older adults and those seeking treatment for addiction in harm’s way, it would also inflict permanent damage to communities large and small, cripple rural hospitals and strain state budgets.

“Americans have resoundingly rejected these proposals. They want Congress to come together in a bipartisan fashion to build on the gains made through the ACA and work to make health care more affordable and accessible. Despite today’s shameful vote, there is still an opportunity for Senate Republicans to do the right thing and vote against final passage of any bill that will increase the number of uninsured, raise out-of-pocket costs, and shift costs onto states and hospitals. It’s time for Congress to heed the call of the vast majority of their constituents, who have overwhelmingly rejected every single disastrous health care repeal proposal Republicans have put forward, and move on. They should abandon their efforts to repeal the ACA and work to make it better for all Americans by expanding coverage, lowering out-of-pocket costs, addressing inequities, tackling prescription drug prices and improving the quality of care.

“We will hold members personally accountable for any action they take that undermines the health and economic security of millions of people.”

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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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