Every time Senate Republicans rework their devastating health care repeal bill, they promise us they’re going to make it better.
Every time they end up making it worse.
Their health care repeal is the least popular legislation in 30 years, with the support of only 12% of the public and opposition from bipartisan group of governors.
On top of that, the experts who know health care the best — doctors, nurses, disease advocates, seniors’ groups, etc. — all know the bill will make health care far worse with cuts to coverage, higher premiums and deductibles and fewer protections for people, including those with pre-existing conditions.
The question is — are Senate Republicans listening to everyone or only listening to themselves?
33 Leading Cancer Organizations: “The Senate’s BCRA, Just As The House’s AHCA, Is A Direct Threat To America’s 16 Million Cancer Patients And Survivors Who Rely On Timely And Uninterrupted Access To Comprehensive And Affordable Health Care.” “The Senate’s BCRA, just as the House’s AHCA, is a direct threat to America’s 16 million cancer patients and survivors who rely on timely and uninterrupted access to comprehensive and affordable health care,” said NCCS CEO Shelley Fuld Nasso. “With an estimated 22 million losing coverage, severe cuts to Medicaid, and elimination of pre-existing condition protections, this bill is devastating for the American people, especially for anyone with a cancer diagnosis. It is time to end this threat that is causing fear and anxiety throughout the cancer community, and work towards bipartisan solutions to strengthen current law.” [NCSS, 7/13/17]
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network: “The Latest Proposed Changes To The Senate Health Care Bill Would Make Access To Health Coverage Worse For Those With Pre-Existing Conditions Like Cancer.” “The latest proposed changes to the Senate health care bill would make access to health coverage worse for those with pre-existing conditions like cancer. The reluctance by senators to include patient feedback and other relevant stakeholder perspectives in the process is preventing the development of a reasonable, bipartisan consensus that could improve the law and pass the Senate.” [ACS CAN, 7/13/17]
American Society Of Clinical Oncology: “ASCO’s Core Mission Is To Ensure That Cancer Patients Have Meaningful Access To High Quality Cancer Care. The Better Care Reconciliation Act Runs Counter To This Goal.” “ASCO’s core mission is to ensure that cancer patients have meaningful access to high quality cancer care. The Better Care Reconciliation Act runs counter to this goal. ASCO’s guiding principles for health reform support improvements to the current health care system, and outline specific areas where people with cancer need protections. We shared these principles in January of this year and stand by them today. ASCO believes that any health system reform must ensure that all people affected by cancer receive high-quality care. We know Congress shares this belief and call on the Senate to work in a bipartisan manner to ensure access to high-quality cancer care, rather than move forward with H.R. 1628. As cancer care providers, we are especially concerned with provisions that would erode critical protections for patients with cancer by allowing insurers to sell products that do not meet their needs, including coverage for essential screening services. Additionally, a six-month waiting period for those that fail to obtain continuous coverage could leave many cancer patients and survivors without access to needed care. Reducing access to affordable health insurance will add costs to the system, decrease access to appropriate treatment and increase existing disparities in care. Removing protections from current federal law through state waivers or other means allows for a weakening of these critical provisions and a system of inequitable treatment across state lines for cancer patients. We urge policymakers to ensure that robust requirements are in place to ensure that all insurance products cover the full scope of services and therapies that cancer patients require. ASCO strongly opposes passage of the Better Care Reconciliation Act.” [ASCO, 7/13/17]
American Lung Association: “The Revised Better Care Reconciliation Act Does Not Address The Major Concerns About Quality And Affordable Healthcare Previously Outlined.” “The American Lung Association is very disappointed to see that the revised Better Care Reconciliation Act does not address the major concerns about quality and affordable healthcare previously outlined by the American Lung Association and therefore, our organization must still oppose this bill. The legislation would still make devastating cuts to Medicaid, which will harm many patients living with a lung disease. It would also still result in removing key patient protections, including for patients with pre-existing conditions. The American Lung Association is particularly troubled by the Cruz Amendment, which would result in higher, not lower, premiums for people with serious and chronic conditions. The American Lung Association has long stated that any healthcare legislation must be adequate, affordable and accessible. This bill still fails to meet this standard. The American Lung Association urges Senators to vote no on both the motion to proceed and the underlying bill. Instead, the Senate should start over with a bipartisan process aimed at improving healthcare for all Americans.” [ALA, 7/13/17]
PHYSICIANS, NURSES, SOCIAL WORKERS, PSYCHOLOGISTS
American Medical Association: “The Revised Bill Does Not Address The Key Concerns Of Physicians And Patients Regarding Proposed Medicaid Cuts And Inadequate Subsidies That Will Result In Millions Of Americans Losing Health Insurance Coverage.” “The revised bill does not address the key concerns of physicians and patients regarding proposed Medicaid cuts and inadequate subsidies that will result in millions of Americans losing health insurance coverage. The additional funding to address the opioid epidemic is a positive step, however, those suffering from substance use disorder have other health care needs that are not likely to be addressed if they lose coverage through a rollback of the Medicaid expansion. While stabilizing the individual market is an initial step, more bipartisan collaboration is needed in the months ahead to improve the delivery and financing of health care.” [AMA, 7/14/17]
American Congress Of Obstetricians And Gynecologists: “The BCRA Is Deeply Flawed, Cannot Be Fixed And Keeps Getting Worse.” “This most recent version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act is not “better” for patients. The BCRA is deeply flawed, cannot be fixed and keeps getting worse. Its original version deliberately stripped landmark women’s health gains made by the Affordable Care Act, turning back the clock on women’s health. This new version threatens to leave patients with preexisting conditions without care. Senators drafting these proposals still aren’t listening to America’s doctors. Yesterday, ACOG joined leaders representing 560,000 frontline physicians on Capitol Hill with one unified message to Senators: the BCRA is dangerous for patients and must be rejected. ACOG’s bottom line is simple: No legislation should take away coverage that patients have today. There’s only one solution. The Senate should put the BCRA where it belongs, in the circular file, not on the floor for a vote. Republican and Democratic senators should work with ob-gyns and other physicians on a new approach that will preserve women’s access to contraception and maternity care and improve the health care system for everyone. We stand ready to partner with the U.S. House and Senate and the White House on practical solutions to improve our nation’s health and reduce health care costs.” [ACOG, 7/14/17]
American Psychiatric Association: “Wordsmithing And Throwing Money At Certain Constituencies To Gain More Votes Highlights A Deeply Flawed Senate Proposal That Is Insufficient.” “Wordsmithing and throwing money at certain constituencies to gain more votes highlights a deeply flawed Senate proposal that is insufficient. The changed bill still rolls back access to care and allows for the removal of essential health benefits, such as treatment for mental illness and substance use disorders that will affect millions of patients and their families — from the young to the elderly to the most vulnerable in all our communities.” [APA, 7/13/17]
American College Of Physicians: “These Changes, Especially Title III, Will Make The Bill Even More Flawed And Therefore Even More Harmful To Our Patients.” “On behalf of the American College of Physicians (ACP), today ACP wrote Senate leaders to reaffirm our strongest possible opposition to the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) of 2017, despite the changes released today, as part of a revised bill. We believe these changes, especially Title III, will make the bill even more flawed and therefore even more harmful to our patients by creating new and perhaps insurmountable coverage barriers for patients with pre-existing conditions and by severely weakening or completely eliminating requirements that insurers cover essential health benefits (EHBs) and abide other protections like a community rating… The BCRA — even with modifications — will not preserve and improve essential coverage, benefits and consumer protections, and access to care for both currently insured and uninsured individuals, children and families.” [ACP, 7/13/17]
American Psychological Association: “More Damaging Than The Original Draft, Since It Would Support The Creation Of Bare-Bones Health Insurance Policies That Do Not Cover Mental Health And Substance-Use Treatment And Other Vital Services.” “The latest version of the Senate bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, is more damaging than the original draft, since it would support the creation of bare-bones health insurance policies that do not cover mental health and substance-use treatment and other vital services, according to the American Psychological Association. The new bill would also weaken current legal protections, making coverage much more expensive — and perhaps unaffordable — for people with pre-existing conditions, including mental health and substance-use disorders, according to the APA.” [APA, 7/13/17]
Association Of American Medical Colleges: “The Revised Bill Released Today Still Falls Woefully Short In Providing Americans With Comprehensive, Affordable Health Coverage, And Will Leave Millions Without Any Coverage At All.” “Notwithstanding the widespread concerns with the original Better Care Reconciliation Act, the revised bill released today still falls woefully short in providing Americans with comprehensive, affordable health coverage, and will leave millions without any coverage at all. As Congress has discussed repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals have held steadfast that any replacement bill should at least maintain current levels of health coverage, not weaken Medicaid, and be the result of a deliberative and transparent process. The first version of the BCRA failed to meet these criteria, as does the revised version. The changes do nothing to address provisions that would cripple Medicaid and put added financial pressure on state budgets and health care providers. Additionally, allowing insurers to sell plans without meaningful coverage will hurt those with preexisting conditions and further destabilize insurance markets. Finally, providing time-limited money to help individuals purchase insurance does not give patients the long-term health security they need. The nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals see firsthand that when our patients do not have sufficient coverage, they often delay seeking much-needed care, turning manageable conditions into dangerous and costly emergencies. We urge members of the Senate to reject this bill and work together to craft legislation that will protect Americans’ health care and will not result in millions more Americans uninsured. The AAMC stands ready to work with Congress to shape a solution that improves the health of all.” [AAMC, 7/13/17]
American Hospital Association: “The Unacceptable Flaws Of BCRA Remain Unchanged, And There Are No Significant Changes To The Massive Medicaid Reductions.” “Last month, we urged the Senate to go back to the drawing board after its original proposal included dramatic cuts to the Medicaid program and the loss of health care coverage for tens of millions of Americans. If enacted, BCRA would mean real consequences for real people — among them people with chronic conditions such as cancer, individuals with disabilities who need long-term services and support, and the elderly. Unfortunately, in the latest update released today, the unacceptable flaws of BCRA remain unchanged, and there are no significant changes to the massive Medicaid reductions. Instead of merely tweaking a proposal that would harm our most vulnerable, we again call on the Senate to advance a solution aimed at protecting coverage for all Americans who currently have it. Instead of merely putting forth an update, we again call on the Senate to put forth an upgrade.” [AHA, 7/13/17]
Catholic Health Association: “Today’s Release Of The Updated Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act Reinforces The Fact That This Bill Is So Flawed It Cannot Be Fixed.” “Today’s release of the updated Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act reinforces the fact that this bill is so flawed it cannot be fixed. The proposed changes do not amend the core issue that this bill will ultimately take health care away from millions of our nation’s most vulnerable populations. For this reason we continue to encourage Senators to oppose this bill and to work together towards improvements in our health care system that will stabilize the insurance market, improve affordability, and strengthen and expand the coverage gains already achieved. The latest version of the bill would still radically restructure the Medicaid program through per capita caps or block grants which would shift the cost burden onto local and state governments, providers and individual beneficiaries. States would be focused on ways to cut eligibility, benefits and provider payments rather than ways to improve care and lower costs over the long term by creating a better delivery system. Additionally, this bill will harm older Americans who will face significantly higher costs through age rating and undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions by allowing insurance companies to waive essential health benefits and make coverage for pre-existing conditions unaffordable.” [CHA, 7/13/17]
America’s Essential Hospitals: “Senate Leaders Again Have Put Forward An Entirely Unacceptable Bill To Repeal And Replace The Affordable Care Act.” “Senate leaders again have put forward an entirely unacceptable bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Their revised Better Care Reconciliation Act leaves untouched the most destructive provisions of the original bill: those that would gut the Medicaid program and strip affordable coverage from millions of low-income working Americans and others who face financial hardships. Making a bad bill worse, the Senate added measures that would destabilize the private market by creating a two-tiered system that funnels the sick and others most in need of affordable coverage into the highest-cost plans. The bill’s attempts to placate critics represent nothing more than token efforts. The additional dollars to combat the nation’s opioid crisis fall far short of replacing the treatment funds lost through the bill’s deep Medicaid cuts. Likewise, added spending to help low-income people pales in comparison to the hundreds of billions of dollars this bill would drain from Medicaid by ending expansion and imposing spending caps. The Senate must stop and accept that this deeply unpopular bill is bad for patients, bad for hospitals, and bad for the country. We urge lawmakers to reach across the aisle and work with all stakeholders for solutions that ensure everyone can afford high-quality care.” [AEH, 7/13/17]
Arizona Hospital And Healthcare Association: “The Better Care Reconciliation Act Remains A Bad Deal For Arizona Patients, Families And Health Care Providers.” “The latest Senate healthcare plan pays lip service to concerns regarding massive federal cuts to drug treatment and state budgets, but does not markedly alter an underlying proposal that continues to promise higher costs and reduced patient access to care. Most significantly, today’s amended proposal still slashes more than $800 billion from Medicaid — safety-net healthcare for nearly 2 million Arizonans, including thousands of veterans and 1 in 2 children in the state. As the Ducey administration has noted, these Medicaid cuts would result in a $7.1 billion financial hit to our state budget. An estimated 400,000 Arizonans are likely to fall off Medicaid as a result, leaving these families just one illness or injury away from financial catastrophe. “For months, the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association has called on Congress to deliver a responsible proposal that addresses shortcomings with the Affordable Care Act, especially regarding the health exchanges. This latest proposal falls short. The Better Care Reconciliation Act remains a bad deal for Arizona patients, families and health care providers.” [AZHHA, 7/13/17]
MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER GROUPS
Mental Health America: “This New Proposal Is Opposed By Insurance Companies, Providers, Advocates, And An Overwhelming Majority Of The Public. This Should Tell Us Something.” “If the American Health Care Act (AHCA) was worse than the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the initial Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) was worse than AHCA, then this new version of the BCRA — released yesterday — is worst of all. It retains all the provisions of the original BCRA that frightened so many people: significantly higher insurance costs for older people, huge cuts to Medicaid, penalties for those who lose their insurance when they try to sign up again, higher average deductibles for everyone, and no guarantees of minimum payouts by insurers for those with chronic conditions, including mental illnesses. It also reduces subsidies offered to the middle class to help offset the cost of insurance, and eliminates these tax credits entirely for individuals making more than $42,210 a year, or couples earning more than $56,840. Meanwhile, it retains tax cuts for tanning salons. Worst of all, it incorporates language from Senator Ted Cruz that could literally flood the market in every state with completely unregulated health insurance products. Marketed under the illusion of “lower insurance rates,” these plans would not have to cover mental illnesses, cancers, or any other chronic conditions — or people who have ever had one of these conditions. They would not have to reimburse providers at any reasonable rate. They could pay out as little in benefits as they wanted, and could be cancelled at any time. They would force people who signed up for them and thought they were getting a bargain to pay thousands more each year in out-of-pocket costs, while forcing everyone with a chronic condition into a single health insurance program. This new proposal is opposed by insurance companies, providers, advocates, and an overwhelming majority of the public. This should tell us something: it is time for Congress to act in a bipartisan way to address the health and mental health care needs of all of us, not just unrelated enterprises like tanning salons.” [MHA, 7/14/17]
National Alliance On Mental Illness: “The BCRA Will Further Worsen The Mental Health Crises Communities Across The Country Are Currently Facing.” “NAMI is deeply disappointed that the revised Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), released today retains provisions that impose significant barriers to treatment and services for people with mental illness. The BCRA contains severe cuts to Medicaid benefits that would threaten access to critical mental health services millions of Americans rely on to lead healthy and productive lives. Medicaid is the largest funding source for public mental health services in our nation. One-third of people covered by Medicaid expansion lives with a mental health or substance use condition. Medicaid also covers 1.75 million American veterans — nearly 1 in 10 of the veteran population — who rely on this coverage for primary and mental health care. The BCRA will further worsen the mental health crises communities across the country are currently facing in homelessness, suicides, emergency room boarding and burdens on law enforcement. Rather than moving forward with a bill that threatens to destabilize our nation’s already struggling mental health system, NAMI urges Senators to reject the revised BCRA and to focus instead on small group and individual insurance market reforms needed in many states. This will ensure that Americans will receive the mental health care they need to lead healthy and productive lives.” [NAMI, 7/13/17]
PUBLIC HEALTH GROUPS
American Public Health Association: “A Public Health Catastrophe.” “The revised Senate plan to replace the Affordable Care Act is still irresponsible policy. Millions would lose insurance coverage, the sickest could still be denied access to critically needed care and far too many would pay even more for fewer benefits, creating an expanded class of underinsured. The bill, like previous versions, guts essential investments in public health by eliminating the Prevention and Public Health Fund. I urge our elected leaders to work together to find a bipartisan solution to fixing the Affordable Care Act. Let’s build on the successes we’ve seen when lawmakers keep the health of the population at the forefront. We all can agree that affordable, accessible health care is a right, not a privilege. Any legislation coming out of Congress should reflect that fact and avoid a public health catastrophe.” [APHA, 7/14/17]
AARP: “This Bill May Have Changed But The Results Are The Same: Higher Costs And Less Coverage For Older Americans.” “This bill may have changed but the results are the same: higher costs and less coverage for older Americans. We urge the Senate to vote ‘NO’ and start from scratch on a new health bill that lowers costs and maintains vital protections and coverage that millions of Americans count on. AARP reiterates our opposition to the Age Tax which would allow insurance companies to charge older Americans five times more than everyone else for the same coverage while reducing tax credits that help make insurance affordable, and we strongly oppose increasing costs for people with pre-existing conditions. AARP also remains alarmed at the Senate bill’s drastic Medicaid cuts. The proposed cuts would leave millions of Americans, including 17.4 million poor seniors and people with disabilities, at risk of losing the care they need and their ability to live independently in their homes and communities. AARP will hold all 100 Senators accountable for their votes on this harmful health care bill. Our members care deeply about their health care and have told us repeatedly that they want to know where their elected officials stand. We strongly urge the Senate to reject this bill.” [AARP, 7/13/17]
Consumers Union: “You Can’t Simply Put A Bandage On This Bill To Make It Better For Consumers, Because The Approach Is Fundamentally Flawed.” “If the goal is to improve healthcare coverage, this bill takes us further away from that goal — much further, not closer. Senators on both sides of the political aisle opposed the last version of this bill. This latest version is not a solution. You can’t simply put a bandage on this bill to make it better for consumers, because the approach is fundamentally flawed.” [Consumers Union, 7/13/17]
Medicare Rights Center: “This Tweaked BCRA Still Ends Medicaid As We Know It.” “Today’s release of the updated Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) confirms what we already knew: this broken bill can’t be fixed. This tweaked BCRA still ends Medicaid as we know it, and it still yanks health coverage out from under millions of Americans, including older adults, people with disabilities, and those with pre-existing conditions. On Medicare, the amended bill includes one notable change. The revised BCRA leaves in place a modest tax on high earners that puts the program on stronger financial footing. But that doesn’t mean people with Medicare are safe. The bill’s deep cuts to Medicaid would devastate the 11 million people who rely on both programs to help pay their Medicare bills, for long-term care, and to stay in their homes. Most Americans oppose the BCRA’s untenable cuts to Medicaid and its disregard for the families who need guaranteed, affordable health coverage. In drafting the BCRA, Senate leaders have avoided public debate, hearings, and even their own constituents. That’s not how good bills get done. The BCRA puts access to needed health care at risk for every older adult, person with a disability, and American family. It’s past time to abandon this broken bill. The American people have asked for, and deserve, an open, bipartisan approach to making health care more affordable for everyone.” [MRC, 7/13/17]
Blue Cross Blue Shield/America’s Health Insurer Plans: Cruz Amendment Is “Simply Unworkable In Any Form And Would Undermine Protections For Those With Pre Existing Medical Conditions, Increase Premiums And Lead To Widespread Terminations Of Coverage For People Currently Enrolled In The Individual Market.” “As the U.S. Senate considers the Better Care Reconciliation Act, we are writing to urge you to strike the “Consumer Freedom Option” from the bill. It is simply unworkable in any form and would undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions, increase premiums and lead to widespread terminations of coverage for people currently enrolled in the individual market.” [BCBSA/AHA, 7/14/17]
America’s Health Insurer Plans: “This Proposal Would Fracture And Segment Insurance Markets Into Separate Risk Pools And Create An Un-Level Playing Field That Would Lead To Widespread Adverse Selection And Unstable Health Insurance Markets.” “Under this proposal, the non-compliant policies would be exempt from consumer protections, such as guaranteed access to coverage, community rating (e.g. no, premium surcharges based on health-status), the ban on pre-existing condition exclusions, and the requirement to offer comprehensive benefits with appropriate limits on patient costsharing. Stable and well-functioning insurance markets require broad-based enrollment and a stable regulatory environment that facilitates fair competition and a level playing field. Unfortunately, this proposal would fracture and segment insurance markets into separate risk pools and create an un-level playing field that would lead to widespread adverse selection and unstable health insurance markets. This is particularly true for patients with pre-existing conditions — who would be most affected and potentially lose access to comprehensive coverage and/or have plans that were far more expensive, as premiums in the Exchange market would rise much faster than under existing market conditions and insurance options dwindle.” [Morning Consult, 7/10/17]
Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Massachusetts: “The Senate Bill Impedes The Meaningful Progress That Our State And Nation Have Made To Extend The Peace Of Mind And Security That Insurance Coverage Brings To Both The Sick And The Healthy.” “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts remains opposed to the newly amended Senate health care bill (the Better Care Reconciliation Act or BCRA) because it would result in the loss of coverage for millions of Americans. While we recognize that the new version of the bill provides additional funding to help combat the opioid epidemic and contains certain provisions to stabilize health insurance markets, in the long term the bill’s deep Medicaid cuts would obstruct access to care for millions of families throughout the country. The bill could also create a new divide between those who are seriously ill and those who are healthy. A fair, stable health insurance system requires an adequate number of both sick and healthy people who contribute to the pool of funds available to pay medical claims. Whether for individuals or small businesses, provisions of the BCRA deepen this divide and would create an unfair and unstable market making coverage out of reach for those who need it most. This division would be further intensified with the inclusion of the “Consumer Freedom Option” because it undermines pre-existing condition protections. As a health insurance CEO, this is not an option that we want or need. We believe that the Senate bill impedes the meaningful progress that our state and nation have made to extend the peace of mind and security that insurance coverage brings to both the sick and the healthy. We encourage the Senate to work on bi-partisan solutions that support increased access to high quality and affordable care for all Americans.” [PR Newswire, 7/13/17]
Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Minnesota: “You Are Going To End Up Bifurcating The Individual Market Into Healthy And Unhealthy.” “‘If reimbursement levels continue to get cut back, it would be a huge concern for our ability to continue to participate in the program,” Guyette said… ‘There are job losses with these cuts,’ Wheeler said. ‘It becomes a domino effect.’ Wheeler and Guyette said the GOP legislation could also result in providers shifting costs to commercial insurers and insured consumers to offset losses from patients who lose insurance. ‘We can’t forget how highly connected all of the segments are,’ Guyette said… Guyette said Congress needs to address the individual market, where insurers have struggled to market attractive plans without losing money. He said the GOP bill includes changes that would help the individual market, but he criticized the introduction of new language that would allow insurers to sell low-cost policies that provide skimpy coverage — policies that were eliminated under Obamacare. ‘You are going to end up bifurcating the individual market into healthy and unhealthy,’ Guyette said.” [Star Tribune, 7/14/17]
Allina Health: “There Is Nothing In The Bill That Talks About System Reform, And In Fact It Actually Undercuts System Reform By Cutting So Many People Off Of Coverage.” “‘I have deep, deep concerns about where the federal framework is right now and where it is proposed to go,’ said Dr. Penny Wheeler, chief executive at Allina Health, a hospital and clinic system that is Minnesota’s fifth-largest employer. ‘There’s nothing in this bill that talks about system reform, and in fact it actually undercuts system reform by cutting so many people off of coverage… ‘There are job losses with these cuts,’ Wheeler said. ‘It becomes a domino effect.’” [Star Tribune, 7/14/17]
American Federation of Teachers: “Now They Are Destabilizing The Entire Health Insurance Market.” “By revising their healthcare bill, Senate Republicans have only succeeded in making a bad bill worse. First they tried to rip healthcare away from millions to give tax breaks to the wealthy and decimate Medicaid as we know it — a lifeline for seniors, children with disabilities, and families — and now they are destabilizing the entire health insurance market. This new GOP leadership bill not only continues to strip healthcare away from those who need it, but structurally destroys private insurance by allowing those who think they are invincible to pay virtually nothing while driving up costs for everyone else… Nurses, educators, doctors, hospital leaders and the American people have been clear: Tear up this bill, stop the secrecy, and work to mend, not end, the Affordable Care Act. Nothing short of that will suffice.” [AFT, 7/13/17]
United States Conference Of Catholic Bishops: “We Do Not See Enough Improvement To Change Our Assessment That The Proposal Is Unacceptable.” “The USCCB is reviewing carefully the health care bill introduced by Senate leadership earlier today. On an initial read, we do not see enough improvement to change our assessment that the proposal is unacceptable. We recognize the incremental improvement in funding the fight against opioid addiction, for instance, but more is needed to honor our moral obligation to our brothers and sisters living in poverty and to ensure that essential protections for the unborn remain in the bill.” [USCCB, 7/13/17]