For years, Republicans have been fighting tooth and nail to dismantle vital health care programs that the American people rely on. They want to go backwards by repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), slashing Medicare and Medicaid, raising drug prices for seniors, and ripping away all of the new benefits under the Inflation Reduction Act.
If the MAGA Republicans get their way, people won’t be able to afford to see a doctor when they need it or to get medicine when they get sick. They’re siding with the drug and insurance companies at the expense of working people, families, and seniors.
At a time when people are struggling to pay the bills, the GOP is aiming to take away health care from working people, raise costs for families, and put health care at risk for everyone.
If the Affordable Care Act gets repealed, Medicaid expansion will be eliminated, threatening vital funding for rural hospitals nationwide. Medicaid expansion provides key support for rural hospitals and, in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid, rural hospitals are drowning under financial pressure. Low occupancy rates, high levels of uncompensated care, competition with other hospitals, and struggling local economies create a financial burden that rural hospitals face all over the country.
Republicans continue to block Medicaid expansion in 10 states, keeping millions from accessing coverage and essential health care Since 2005, more than 150 rural hospitals have closed, including 20 closures in 2020 alone. In 2023, over 600 rural hospitals are at risk of closing in the near future, and it is estimated that if those hospitals shut down, 99,000 health care jobs in rural communities will be lost. If the GOP gets their way, rural hospitals will be left without critical funding, turning a bad problem into a worse one.
With Medicaid currently serving over 92 million Americans, the largest enrollment in history, this program has never been more important to the lives of everyday Americans. Research confirms that Medicaid expansion saves lives and drastically reduces racial health disparities as well as improves financial security for families and helps local economies thrive. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Medicaid expansion saved the lives of 19,200 older adults aged 55 to 64 between 2014 and 2017. Cancer deaths have dropped more in states that accepted Medicaid coverage under the ACA than in states that have held out, and expansion has also been tied to fewer heart-related deaths.
Medicaid expansion has been a critical part of working towards the goal of every American having access to affordable and quality health insurance, but Republicans in 10 states have not yet implemented expansion of the program, blocking millions from coverage and access to essential health care. Often Republicans know that Medicaid Expansion would be the best program for their state, but continue to refuse to expand it or, in some states, will try to implement a milquetoast replacement program.
If Republicans get their way and repeal the Affordable Care Act, more than 22 million people across the nation will lose coverage.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created access to free preventive care for millions of Americans across the nation. Under the ACA, health plans must cover preventive services — like vaccinations, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers. The Inflation Reduction Act expanded this access to include free critical vaccines for seniors, such as shingles and pneumonia. Access to preventive care has improved health outcomes, reduced economic inequity, and saved families money by preventing serious diseases that lead to costly treatments.
If either of these historic laws gets repealed, millions of Americans could once again have to pay for preventive care. Not only are Republicans in Congress advocating for this, but conservatives have taken to the courts to dismantle this core protection.
In March, a Texas District Judge struck down a provision of the ACA that requires insurers to cover lifesaving preventive services without cost sharing in a politically-driven effort to dismantle the ACA, brought by longtime foes of abortion rights, women’s health, LGBTQI+ rights, and affordable health care. If this ruling stands, it puts millions at the mercy of insurance companies and employers, who could eliminate the benefits entirely or start charging for them, increasing costs for patients by thousands of dollars a year and creating major obstacles to care.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, insurers have to cover what are known as “essential health benefits,” and that includes prescription drugs. This required all health insurance plans to cover at least one drug in every category and class of approved medicines.
The Inflation Reduction Act built on these savings with the Medicare Drug Negotiation Program, which gave Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug costs for seniors. The Biden administration recently announced the first round of high-cost drugs whose prices will come down from negotiation. This includes some of the highest-priced prescription drugs used to treat conditions like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, chronic kidney disease, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis – many of which disproportionately impact women, communities of color, and people in rural areas.
From day one after passage, Republicans have been attempting to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act in its entirety, placing these improvements at risk. If these efforts succeed, companies like Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb, who already spent over $100 million to lobby against the initial passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, will continue raking in billions annually on drugs with no generic alternative while charging Americans four times more than other high-income countries.
The Inflation Reduction Act stopped big drug companies from raising Medicare prescription prices faster than the rate of inflation starting at the beginning of 2023. The Biden administration recently announced that the manufacturers of 48 drugs under Medicare Part B hiked prices faster than inflation in the last quarter of 2023 and will now be required to pay back Medicare through lower copays starting on January 1, 2024. The rebate payments are expected to save seniors who rely on these drugs up to $2,786 per dose.
If the GOP is successful in repealing the Inflation Reduction Act, big drug companies will once again be allowed to hike prices however much they want at any time — all at the expense of American families.
Medicare capped the cost of insulin at $35 per month thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act. Now, more than 3.2 million insulin users on Medicare Part D pay no more than $35 per month for their insulin, regardless of whether a deductible has been met. This provision is a game-changer and will make health care more affordable and equitable for the American people. People of color are disproportionately affected by diabetes with over 12 percent of Black American adults and over 13 percent of Latinos being diagnosed with the disease.
Before the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, too many diabetic seniors had to skip doses because of the high costs. Reducing or skipping doses without doctor supervision can lead to severe complications, including death. Republicans want to abolish this cap and send seniors back to the days of risking their lives by rationing doses all because they can no longer afford their life-saving medication.
More than 135 million Americans have a pre-existing health condition, such as asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. Because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), insurers in the individual market can no longer drop, deny, or charge more on coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
Without the ACA, millions of Americans who have been deemed as having a pre-existing condition, most likely including those who have contracted COVID-19, would be at the mercy of their insurance companies who could refuse to pay for needed care.
Anti-abortion advocates, represented by a far-right legal organization, have filed a lawsuit before a federal judge in Texas with the sweeping aim of a nationwide ban on mifepristone, which is used for medication abortions. The plaintiffs argue that the FDA’s authorization of the drug over two decades ago was flawed and that the drug which has been used by over 2.5 million women is, in fact, dangerous.
Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration has the potential to undermine the country’s process for regulating pharmaceuticals. If the plaintiffs in this case are successful, it would open the door to any third party with a political agenda to challenge a medication that they object to. If these plaintiffs can successfully challenge the more than two decades-old approval of this drug, then every group that opposes a drug or vaccine will be able to use the same playbook to bring lawsuits seeking to ban those medications.
The Biden administration announced that as of December 15, 2023, a record 15.3 million Americans have signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces. This represents a 33 percent increase from the same time last year. HHS projects that more than 19 million consumers will enroll in 2024 coverage through the ACA — more than 7 million more than when President Biden took office.
The record number of sign-ups have been made possible by the historic investments of the Biden administration. Because of premium tax credit expansion, historic investment in the Navigator program, and other initiatives, health care is better and more affordable than ever.
In recent weeks, since Donald Trump reignited calls to “terminate” the ACA, he has pledged at least six more times to rip away critical benefits and protections from millions across nations. Repealing the ACA would increase the number of uninsured Americans by around 40 million, and Americans of all ages would be impacted by coverage losses.
The Inflation Reduction Act expanded premium tax credits, reducing or eliminating out-of-pocket premiums for millions of people and saving Americans an average of over $800 per year. Right now, 80% of consumers can find coverage through the Marketplace for $10 or less. Keeping premiums low for more households than ever before allows them to re-enroll in the coverage they need and avoid becoming uninsured. It also allows them to put those savings to use in other important areas, such as putting food on the table or paying rent, for years to come.
With Republicans in control of the House of Representatives, they have attacked the Inflation Reduction Act and threatened to repeal all of its savings. These attacks have continued as Republicans elected Mike Johnson (R-LA) as Speaker of the House. Johnson has a radical health care record with repeated votes against affordable, accessible health care.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has banned insurers from setting annual and lifetime limits on health coverage on 179 million privately insured Americans. Before the implementation of the ACA in 2009, nearly 6 in 10 covered workers’ employer-sponsored health plans had a lifetime limit, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Repealing the Affordable Care Act means insurance companies would be able to impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage for those insured through their employer or on the individual market. For example, without the ACA, a 40-year-old patient with cancer would face a premium surcharge of anywhere between $30,000 to $140,000. And without the ban on annual and lifetime caps, the cancer patient – whose costs for treatment average about $150,000 – could quickly reach their plan’s limit and face the devastating choice of continuing treatment or facing financial ruin.