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Capitol Hill

Who’s Against the GOP Health Care Repeal Tax Scam? Everyone, Basically

The GOP tax scam doubles as a sneaky repeal of the Affordable Care Act — it kicks 13 million people off of their insurance, raises premiums by double digits for millions more and triggers a $25 billion cut to Medicare, all to pay for tax breaks for the wealthiest and corporations. The leading experts — patient groups, insurers, doctors, actuaries and hospitals — all oppose the passage of this legislation. More than 2,400 faith leaders oppose it. And the American people overwhelmingly reject it. Why won’t the GOP listen to anyone?

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, And 16 More Leading Patient Groups: People With “Serious Health Care Needs” And With Pre-Existing Conditions “May Not Be Able To Afford Coverage.” “Many individuals with serious health care needs, including patients with chronic or major health conditions, who by definition, have a pre-existing condition, may not be able to afford coverage.” [The Hill, 11/28/17]

America’s Health Insurance Plans, American Academy Of Family Physicians, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Federation Of American Hospitals: Leading Industry Groups Warn Of “Serious Consequences” Should The Mandate Be Repealed. “As providers of healthcare and coverage to hundreds of millions of Americans, we are committed to assuring everyone has access to a range of high quality, affordable coverage options so they can access the care they need, regardless of pre-existing conditions. To achieve this critical goal, we are urging you to maintain the individual mandate unless and until Congress can enact a package of reforms to adequately assure a balanced risk pool and prevent extraordinary premium increases.” [Letter, 11/14/17]

American Academy of Actuaries: “Premiums Would Increase, Reducing Affordability And Eroding Pre-Existing Condition Protections.” The individual mandate is an integral component of the ACA. It helps support the law’s pre-existing condition protections — the provisions that prohibit insurers from denying coverage or charging higher premiums based on health status. The mandate helps encourage the young and healthy, as well as the old and sick, to obtain coverage, thus achieving the balanced risk pool required to keep premiums affordable and stable. In practice, its financial penalty is usually low as a share of premiums, many individuals are exempt, and enforcement is weak. Nevertheless, the mandate, especially in conjunction with the premium and cost-sharing subsidies, likely increases enrollment above what it would otherwise be. Eliminating the mandate without implementing an alternative means to drive enrollment among healthy individuals would likely result in a deterioration of the risk pool due to lower coverage rates among lower-cost individuals who could defer purchasing insurance until a health need arose. Premiums would increase as a result, reducing affordability and eroding pre-existing condition protections. [Letter, 12/12/17]

More Than 2,400 Faith Leaders: “That The Number Of Uninsured Individuals Would Increase By 13 Million By 2025…Violates Our Faith Teaching.” “The individual mandate is critical to keeping individual market coverage affordable and keeping the individual market stable. By repealing the individual mandate, legislation will cause catastrophic losses in health coverage. The CBO estimates that the number of uninsured individuals would increase by 13 million by 2025, which violates our faith teaching.” [Letter, 11/29/17]

The American People: “Just 32% Support The GOP Tax Plan…The Lowest Level Of Public Support For Any Major Piece Of Legislation Enacted In The Past Three Decades.  A new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll finds just 32% support the GOP tax plan; 48% oppose it. That’s the lowest level of public support for any major piece of legislation enacted in the past three decades, including the Affordable Care Act in 2009. [USA Today, 12/10/17]

Sleigh Bells Ring, Are You Listening? Mainers, Health Care Advocates and Major Media Organizations Attempt to Reach Sen. Susan Collins

Ten days ago, Sen. Susan Collins voted in favor of the GOP tax scam to kick 13 million people off of their health insurance, raise premiums double digits for millions more and trigger a $25 billion cut to Medicare, all to pay for a tax cut for the wealthiest and big corporations. She argued it wasn’t a bad bill and claimed she had promises from GOP leaders to move alternative bills forward. In the days since, it’s been made abundantly clear neither of these things is true.

How is her vote playing out in Maine?

Maine Beacon: “Hundreds brave winter storm to tell Sen. Collins: ‘You are wrong’ on tax bill.” “Despite freezing temperatures and the season’s first significant snowfall, an estimated 250 people from across New England turned out Saturday to demand that Senator Susan Collins finally listen to the will of the voters and reject the Republican tax overhaul. The line of protesters marched across Memorial Bridge, which connects Portsmouth, New Hampshire to Kittery, Maine, behind a banner which read: ‘Sen. Susan Collins, You Are Wrong.’”

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel: “Our View: Collins should drop support for tax bill.” “When she gets another chance, Collins should vote against the bill that’s now being negotiated in a House-Senate conference committee and stop this process before it’s too late. There is no shortage of reasons for her to withdraw her support.”

Alex Luck, Bangor Daily News: “Susan Collins support of the Senate tax bill is a betrayal of Maine’s veterans.” “As a veteran, it pains me to see just how badly the Republican tax bill that the Senate just passed will hurt my fellow veterans. What’s worse, I’m heartbroken to see Collins vote for this bill that punishes veterans and threatens millions of families’ health and well-being by dismantling a key part of the Affordable Care Act. I’d expect such cruelty from the far-right fringe. I’m shocked to see Collins go along with it.”

How about nationally?

Washington Post Editorial Board“Susan Collins is getting it wrong.” “If the reinsurance plan were larger and perpetual, Ms. Collins would have a better argument. If Republicans had spent months examining the effectiveness of the mandate, waited for a new assessment from the Congressional Budget Office and drafted a stand-alone bill that included replacement policies, they would have more credibility in making such a large and risky change in the Obamacare system. But this is not what happened.”

New York Times: “Susan Collins and the Duping of the Centrists.” “A couple of weeks ago, Collins made a classic Collins deal. It tried to split the difference between Democratic and Republican positions. But it sure looks like a bum deal now… Her strategic error is the one that holds lessons for other would-be centrists. Namely, she defined the political center in relative terms rather than substantive terms. Republican leaders — not just Trump, but McConnell and Ryan too — have moved sharply to the right. They are rushing through a bill without the normal procedures. They are making verifiably false claims about it. And they have decided that taking health insurance away from Americans is a core Republican principle. Collins made the mistake of chasing after an impossible deal. She wanted to position herself between the two political parties, and she wanted to protect Medicare and Medicaid. When it proved impossible to do both, she claimed otherwise — and put a higher priority on politics than policy. In Trump’s Washington, other centrist Republicans are going to face a version of her dilemma, again and again. They are going to have decide which matters more to them: being a loyal Republican or being an actual centrist.”

What about her assertions that these other bills will mitigate the damage of the tax scam?

National Public Radio: “Doubts Rise About Sen. Collins’ Strategy To Shore Up Insurance Market.” “Sen. Susan Collins, the Maine Republican whose vote was pivotal in pushing the GOP tax bill forward last week, thought she had a deal to bolster health care protections in exchange for her support. But it’s now unclear whether her strategy to shore up part of the Affordable Care Act will prevail or that it would produce the results she anticipates… Would Collins’ changes offset the elimination of the mandate? Some analysts question whether the bill restoring the federal cost-sharing subsidy payments could actually do more harm than good. ‘It’s a mess,’ says insurance industry consultant Robert Laszewski.”

Bloomberg: “These Senators Could Doom Tax Cuts (But Won’t).” “Collins says she has commitments from party leaders that the Medicare cuts never would be enacted, along with support for separate legislation that would address problems like insurance-premium increases caused by the mandate repeal… There are several problems with these reassurances. Nobody can promise now that a future Congress won’t cut Medicare. Nor is there any guarantee that the House of Representatives would go along with the separate measures to help the insurance market.”

Washington Post: “Susan Collins is enabling a bad tax bill.” “Collins’s support for the two measures, she would argue, mitigates some of the damage from repeal of the individual mandate. However, ‘some’ is not ‘all,’ and she has not attempted any fix beyond 2020. Andy Slavitt, former acting head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, tells me, ‘Even the study Senator Collins cited shows that the policies she’s proposing would undo only a small fraction of the coverage losses from mandate repeal and would have only temporary benefits. On the small chance that Paul Ryan decides to keep in Senator Collins’s amendments, this deal would not accomplish what she had hoped it would.’ And that brings us back to the original issue: Why allow Senate Republicans to wreck the individual exchanges under the guise of tax reform?

Are the promises not to cut Medicare at least holding up?

Paul Ryan: “Perfectly Appropriate” to Look at Cuts.

Mark Walker: “Secured a Commitment” to Vote on These Cuts.

Senator Collins, it’s never been more clear: Mainers are furious over your vote, health care advocates are adamant about the problems it will bring, and the GOP’s lies are getting harder to cover by the hour. Do the right thing — oppose the GOP tax scam.

“She Got Rolled”: A Brief Summary of the Susan Collins-GOP Leadership Deal

Last week, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) said her support for the GOP tax scam, which contains a sneaky repeal of the Affordable Care Act that kicks 13 million people off of their insurance, raises premiums double digits for millions more and guts Medicare by $25 billion, was due to a promise she was given by Republican leaders ensuring two health care stabilizations bills would be signed into law. While experts had made clear these stabilization bills wouldn’t offset the deleterious effects of repeal, in the following days it became clear the GOP has no intentions of moving these bills. In the past 24 hours, as the truth has begun to trickle out, the larger picture has begun to be revealed.

What happened?

Politico: “Speaker Paul Ryan has made clear he’s not bound by the deal.”“Collins went along with the tax bill that repeals Obamacare’s individual mandate after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged to pass a pair of bills propping up Obamacare’s shaky insurance markets, including a bipartisan deal resuming payments on key subsidies that President Donald Trump halted in October. But Speaker Paul Ryan has made clear he’s not bound by the deal, and there’s little urgency among House Republicans to do much of anything on health care before the end of the year. On Thursday, Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker said conservatives received assurances that talks on a spending package to keep the government open won’t address Obamacare. ‘The three things we were told are not gonna happen as part of our agreement: no CSRs, no DACA, no debt limit,’ he said, referring to efforts to fund Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidies.That could cost Collins’ support after she signaled that her vote on the final bill may hinge on the fate of the health care measures.”

How are things going in Maine?

Boston Globe: “Maine’s Susan Collins was a health care hero, but now advocates are branding her a villain.” “Susan Collins received a hero’s welcome in Maine this summer after she stymied efforts by her fellow Senate Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Crowds applauded her at the airport. Activists brought her flowers and thank-you cards. Less than six months later, protesters returned to the Bangor airport, hoping to greet her with signs declaring ‘Shame.’ Collins didn’t show up… What dismayed health care advocates is part of the tax-cut legislation that wipes out a fundamental element of the federal health care law: the ‘individual mandate,’ which requires that all Americans either purchase insurance or pay a tax penalty. ‘We’re disappointed. Everyone’s disappointed,’ said Marie Follayttar Smith, a cofounder of Mainers for Accountable Leadership, a liberal grass-roots group that has organized several protests in the past week aimed at pressuring Collins to change her position on the tax bill.”

Portland Press-Herald: “Religious leaders arrested at Sen. Collins’ Portland office after sit-in to protest her vote on tax bill.” “A group of nine religious leaders protesting Sen. Susan Collins’ support of the tax reform effort were arrested by Portland police officers shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday. Police waited inside Collins’ office at One Canal Plaza, Suite 802, while the group prayed and streamed their protest live on Facebook. Officers explained that they would handcuff the protesters and take them out in groups of about five in order to fit in an elevator. Group members sang, ‘We are gentle, loving people, and we are singing for our lives,’ as they were led away.”

What are people saying about the deal she cut?

Boston Globe: “She made a political error that’s going to cost Mainers.”“Her critics say Collins got played by accepting those promises. Conservatives in the House are openly balking at voting for the two bipartisan health care bills Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell pledged would be adopted by the full Congress by the end of the year. News reports this week revealed that House Speaker Paul Ryan told congressional staff after the Senate vote that he was not a party to McConnell’s promise to pass the provisions that Collins demanded. ‘She made a political error that’s going to cost Mainers and cost people across the country basic lifelines while [helping] the wealthy,’ said Smith, the Maine activist.”

Bloomberg: “She got rolled.” “Her critics wonder what she’s thinking. ‘She got rolled,’ said Jim Manley, a Democratic lobbyist who worked for former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. ‘Despite the fact that she’s a veteran legislator, as far as I’m concerned she got rolled here. The promises she extracted from the Senate leadership aren’t worth the piece of paper they’re written on. The House is continuing to raise questions about why they’re bound by a deal in the Senate.’”

Huffington Post“Collins is already being asked to accept more things on faith than she was supposed to.” “But no matter the ultimate conclusion, Collins is already being asked to accept more things on faith than she was supposed to. Earlier in the week, the House Freedom Caucus nearly derailed a vote to begin merging the separate versions of the tax legislation until leaders agreed to ‘decouple’ the tax bill from the other spending bills, with Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) telling reporters that the final tax bill would now likely come next week, days before Senators vote again on a spending bill. If that’s the case, Collins will once again be asked to vote for legislation she believes is harmful to Americans with the promise that Congress will mitigate their actions in the future.”

What is Sen. Collins herself saying?

WABI: “Senator Collins Responds to GOP Tax Bill Protesters, May Change Vote.” “Senator Susan Collins weighed in on the contentious tax bill debate from Washington DC. Collins believes the amendments she added in the Senate version on property tax and medical expense deduction for retirement funding improved the bill and that in time, it will lower the debt. But she told TV5 Thursday if those changes are not included in the final package, she will consider changing her vote.”

Sen. Collins — it’s clear: the GOP leadership doesn’t care about you, doesn’t care about honoring any promise they made and doesn’t care about health of this country. It’s time for you to oppose this tax scam.

GOP to Susan Collins: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said she voted for the GOP tax scam, which contains a sneaky repeal of the Affordable Care Act that kicks 13 million people off of their insurance, raises premiums double digits for millions more and guts Medicare by $25 billion, due to promises from GOP leadership to move forward with health care stabilization bills. Experts made clear these stabilization bills would be largely meaningless, Sen. Collins nonetheless argued that she had a deal. In the days since the vote, however, something else has been made abundantly clear: these so-called promises were blatant lies:

The Hill: “Ryan’s office warning he wasn’t part of deal on ObamaCare: source.” “Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) office told a meeting of congressional leadership offices on Monday that the Speaker is not part of a deal to get ObamaCare fixes passed before the end of the year, according to a source familiar with the meeting. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made a commitment to Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) that he would support passage of two bipartisan ObamaCare bills before the end of the year, a promise that helped win her vote for tax reform. However, Ryan’s office told a meeting of staff from the four top congressional leadership offices on Monday that he has not made that same commitment, raising further questions about whether the ObamaCare bills, already opposed by House conservatives, can pass the House.”

Portland Press-Herald: “House Republicans balk at concessions Sen. Collins obtained for her tax reform vote.” “Beyond Ryan, Rep. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, a leader in the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said the Alexander-Murray bill could not pass the House, according to The Hill’s report. ‘The package that’s put together today is just not sufficient to get the votes,’ Cole said. ‘You will not get the votes here.’”

The Daily Beast: “House Republicans Already Shooting Down Tax Bill’s Promises.” “Lawmakers made it clear that they felt no reason to support the proposed deals, and blamed Senate leaders for trying to wheel and deal their way to a successful result on reforming the tax code and slashing rates, an issue they believe all Republicans should have been united around from the start.”

New York Magazine: “Susan Collins Wanted to ‘Get to Yes’ on Tax Bill So Badly She Accepted Promises Written in Vanishing Ink.” “Some observers are lumping the assurances Jeff Flake got on DACA as equivalent to Collins’s deal, but the promises made to Flake were both vague and not at all linked to any timetable. The senator from Maine got a commitment for presidential and Senate leadership support for very specific legislation, and from McConnell at least, a very specific timetable (before the end of 2017). It now appears that one reason for last night’s surprising House conservative threat to the routine measure to appoint tax-bill conferees was to place deals like those struck by Collins totally off the table.”

HOW HAS THIS PLAYED OUT IN MAINE?

Bangor Daily News: “Collins ‘let the people of Maine down’ with her vote to pass tax bill, protesters say.” “After U.S. Sen. Susan Collins voted early Saturday morning in support of the Republican bill to overhaul the tax code, some Mainers broke out in protest over the weekend, calling Collins’ vote a betrayal. Gathered outside Collins’ Portland office Friday night before the vote, Mainers for Accountable Leadership co-founder Gordon Adams told Portland-based ABC affiliate WMTW that Collins, who came out in support of Senate the tax bill, ‘has really let the people of Maine down.’”

WGME: “Protesters gather in front of Sen. Collins office after support of tax bill.” “Protesters gathered outside Senator Susan Collins’ offices in Portland after she announced her support for the GOP tax reform bill. Within an hour of Senator Susan Collins’ announcement, a group of protesters showed up outside of her office in downtown Portland, saying they were unhappy with her decision.”

Mic: “In Maine, Susan Collins’ “yes” vote on tax plan brings devastation.”“Residents in Collins’ home state have demonstrated notable support for the ACA. In November, Maine became the first state to vote to expand Medicaid via a ballot initiative. Maine’s residents are leading the nation in the growth of people with health insurance through Obamacare open enrollment. A recent poll said a majority of Maine residents opposed the Senate tax plan, while fewer than a quarter supported it… ‘Maine is a rural state, a small business state and the oldest state in the country and Mainers are exactly the people who are targeted by the health care cuts and tax increases in this bill,’ Tipping said. ‘We definitely won’t see clapping at the airport.’”

Fact Sheet on Health Repeal in Senate Passed Tax Bill Spotlight — Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA)

Spotlight: Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA)

Senate Republicans passed a tax bill on Friday night that repeals health care to pay for another massive tax break for the wealthiest and corporations. What the repeal of the individual mandate in the Senate bill means is simple: while the wealthy and corporations get a tax break, middle-class families will get double digit premium increases, 13 million people will lose their coverage, older Americans will get an age tax and $25 billion in Medicare funding will be cut.

The bill passed by the House did not include the repeal of the individual mandate. The House should insist that it stays out. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) has one opportunity left to take a stand against any inclusion of the individual mandate in the final bill which, if passed with the repeal of the individual mandate, would cause 287,000 people to lose coverage in Virginia including 28,800 in Rep. Comstock’s district, raise premiums on middle-class families by $2,140 and impose an age tax of up to $1,600 on older Virginians, and cut $546 million in Medicare funds to Virginia all to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.

SENATE REPUBLICANS JUST VOTED TO REPEAL HEALTH CARE — RAISING PREMIUMS BY DOUBLE DIGITS FOR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES, RIPPING AWAY COVERAGE FOR 13 MILLION AMERICANS, IMPOSING AN AGE TAX ON OLDER AMERICANS AND GUTTING MEDICARE BY $25 BILLION — ALL TO PAY FOR SPECIAL TAX BREAKS FOR MILLIONAIRES AND BIG CORPORATIONS

Congressional Budget Office: Republican Tax Bill Will Result In 13 Million More Uninsured People. “The number of people with health insurance would decrease by 4 million in 2019 and 13 million in 2027.” [CBO, 11/8/17]

Center For American Progress: Senate Tax Bill Will Result In 287,000 More Uninsured In Virginia, 28,800 More In Rep. Comstock’s District.[Center for American Progress, 11/16/1712/5/17]

CBO: Average Premiums Will Increase By 10 Percent In Most Years Of The Next Decade Due To The Republican Tax Bill. “Average premiums in the nongroup market would increase by about 10 percent in most years of the decade (with no changes in the ages of people purchasing insurance accounted for) relative to CBO’s baseline projections.” [CBO, 11/8/17]

Center For American Progress: Marketplace Premiums For A Typical Middle-Class Family In Virginia Will Rise By $2,140 In 2019. [Center for American Progress, 11/16/17]

CBO: Healthier People Less Likely To Purchase Health Coverage, Raising Costs For Everyone Else. “Those effects would occur mainly because healthier people would be less likely to obtain insurance and because, especially in the nongroup market, the resulting increases in premiums would cause more people to not purchase insurance.” [CBO, 11/8/17]

AARP: Premiums For People Over 50 Would Increase Up To $1,500 Nationally, And Up To $1,600 In Virginia, Because Of Health Care Repeal In The Republican Tax Bill. “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as reported by the Senate Finance Committee on Nov. 16, 2017 includes a new provision that would both reduce health care coverage and increase costs for millions of Americans. Older adults ages 50–64 would be at particularly high risk under the proposal, facing average premium increases of up to $1,500 in 2019 as a result of the bill.” [AARP, 11/21/17]

CBO: Republican Tax Bill Would Trigger A $25 Billion Cut To Medicare.“Without enacting subsequent legislation to either offset that deficit increase, waive the recordation of the bill’s impact on the scorecard, or otherwise mitigate or eliminate the requirements of the PAYGO law, OMB would be required to issue a sequestration order within 15 days of the end of the session of Congress to reduce spending in fiscal year 2018 by the resultant total of $136 billion. However, the PAYGO law limits reductions to Medicare to four percentage points (or roughly $25 billion for that year), leaving about $111 billion to be sequestered from the remaining mandatory accounts.” [CBO, 11/14/17]

Center For American Progress: Virginia Would See A $546 Million Cut In Medicare Funds. [Center for American Progress, 11/16/17]

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): Republicans Need To Cut Medicare Next To Pay For Tax Cuts. “‘I analyze this very differently than most,’ Rubio told the crowd. ‘Many argue that you can’t cut taxes because it will drive up the deficit. But we have to do two things. We have to generate economic growth which generates revenue, while reducing spending. That will mean instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare for the future,’ the senator said.” [Financial Advisor Magazine, 11/30/17]

Center On Budget And Policy Priorities: “Senate Tax Bill Would Add 13 Million To Uninsured To Pay For Tax Cuts Of Nearly $100,000 Per Year For The Top 0.1 Percent.” “The savings from eliminating the mandate would come entirely from reducing health coverage. For example, the federal government would spend less on premium tax credits because fewer people would sign up for marketplace coverage, less on Medicaid because fewer people would enroll, and less on the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance because fewer employees would enroll in job-based coverage. These savings are what let Senate leaders make their full corporate rate cut permanent…The benefits of corporate rate cuts go overwhelmingly to high-income households.” [CBPP, 11/15/17]

PASSING ALEXANDER-MURRAY AFTER VOTING FOR REPEAL IS LIKE INSTALLING GUARDRAILS ON THE HIGHWAY AFTER YOUR CAR HAS GONE OVER THE CLIFF

CBO: Passing Alexander-Murray After The Repeal Of The Individual Responsibility Provision Would Not Undo The Damage. “In your letter of November 21, 2017, you asked about the combined effects of simultaneously passing the BHCSA and legislation that would repeal the requirement that most U.S. citizens and noncitizens who lawfully reside in the country have health insurance meeting specified standards. Specifically, you asked if legislation that combined the provisions would change the agencies’ previous estimates of the number of people with insurance coverage or premiums in the nongroup insurance market. In the estimate for the BHCSA, the agencies wrote that, relative to the Summer 2017 baseline, the legislation would not substantially change the number of people with health insurance coverage, on net.” [CBO, 11/29/17]

There Is No Guarantee Alexander-Murray Would Pass The House, Let Alone Become Law. There is no guarantee Alexander-Murray would pass the House, let alone become law. Speaker Ryan dodged questions about its fate in the House. House conservatives called it a “nonstarter.” And President Trump has been all over the map on this issue his word cannot be trusted.

THE LEADING EXPERTS — PATIENT GROUPS, INSURERS, DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS — AND MORE THAN 2,400 FAITH LEADERS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OPPOSE HEALTH REPEAL

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, And 16 More Leading Patient Groups: People With “Serious Health Care Needs” And With Pre-Existing Conditions “May Not Be Able To Afford Coverage.” “Many individuals with serious health care needs, including patients with chronic or major health conditions, who by definition, have a pre-existing condition, may not be able to afford coverage.” [The Hill, 11/28/17]

America’s Health Insurance Plans, American Academy Of Family Physicians, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Federation Of American Hospitals: Leading Industry Groups Warn Of “Serious Consequences” Should The Mandate Be Repealed. “As providers of healthcare and coverage to hundreds of millions of Americans, we are committed to assuring everyone has access to a range of high quality, affordable coverage options so they can access the care they need, regardless of pre-existing conditions. To achieve this critical goal, we are urging you to maintain the individual mandate unless and until Congress can enact a package of reforms to adequately assure a balanced risk pool and prevent extraordinary premium increases.” [Letter, 11/14/17]

More Than 2,400 Faith Leaders: “That The Number Of Uninsured Individuals Would Increase By 13 Million By 2025…Violates Our Faith Teaching.” “The individual mandate is critical to keeping individual market coverage affordable and keeping the individual market stable. By repealing the individual mandate, legislation will cause catastrophic losses in health coverage. The CBO estimates that the number of uninsured individuals would increase by 13 million by 2025, which violates our faith teaching.” [Letter, 11/29/17]

Fact Sheet on Health Repeal in Senate Passed Tax Bill Spotlight — Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)

Spotlight: Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)

Senate Republicans passed a tax bill on Friday night that repeals health care to pay for another massive tax break for the wealthiest and corporations. What the repeal of the individual mandate in the Senate bill means is simple: while the wealthy and corporations get a tax break, middle-class families will get double digit premium increases, 13 million people will lose their coverage, older Americans will get an age tax and $25 billion in Medicare funding will be cut.

The bill passed by the House did not include the repeal of the individual mandate. The House should insist that it stays out. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) has one opportunity left to take a stand against any inclusion of the individual mandate in the final bill which, if passed with the repeal of the individual mandate, would cause 505,000 people to lose coverage in Pennsylvania including 26,200 in Rep. Fitzpatrick’s district, raise premiums on middle-class families by $2,300 and impose an age tax of up to $1,700 on older Pennsylvanians, and cut $1.2 billion in Medicare funds to Pennsylvania all to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.

SENATE REPUBLICANS JUST VOTED TO REPEAL HEALTH CARE — RAISING PREMIUMS BY DOUBLE DIGITS FOR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES, RIPPING AWAY COVERAGE FOR 13 MILLION AMERICANS, IMPOSING AN AGE TAX ON OLDER AMERICANS AND GUTTING MEDICARE BY $25 BILLION — ALL TO PAY FOR SPECIAL TAX BREAKS FOR MILLIONAIRES AND BIG CORPORATIONS

Congressional Budget Office: Republican Tax Bill Will Result In 13 Million More Uninsured People. “The number of people with health insurance would decrease by 4 million in 2019 and 13 million in 2027.” [CBO, 11/8/17]

Center For American Progress: Senate Tax Bill Will Result In 505,000 More Uninsured In Pennsylvania, 26,200 More In Rep. Fitzpatrick’s District. [Center for American Progress, 11/16/1712/5/17]

CBO: Average Premiums Will Increase By 10 Percent In Most Years Of The Next Decade Due To The Republican Tax Bill. “Average premiums in the nongroup market would increase by about 10 percent in most years of the decade (with no changes in the ages of people purchasing insurance accounted for) relative to CBO’s baseline projections.” [CBO, 11/8/17]

Center For American Progress: Marketplace Premiums For A Typical Middle-Class Family In Pennsylvania Will Rise By $2,300 In 2019. [Center for American Progress, 11/16/17]

CBO: Healthier People Less Likely To Purchase Health Coverage, Raising Costs For Everyone Else. “Those effects would occur mainly because healthier people would be less likely to obtain insurance and because, especially in the nongroup market, the resulting increases in premiums would cause more people to not purchase insurance.” [CBO, 11/8/17]

AARP: Premiums For People Over 50 Would Increase Up To $1,500 Nationally, And Up To $1,700 In Pennsylvania, Because Of Health Care Repeal In The Republican Tax Bill. “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as reported by the Senate Finance Committee on Nov. 16, 2017 includes a new provision that would both reduce health care coverage and increase costs for millions of Americans. Older adults ages 50–64 would be at particularly high risk under the proposal, facing average premium increases of up to $1,500 in 2019 as a result of the bill.” [AARP, 11/21/17]

CBO: Republican Tax Bill Would Trigger A $25 Billion Cut To Medicare.“Without enacting subsequent legislation to either offset that deficit increase, waive the recordation of the bill’s impact on the scorecard, or otherwise mitigate or eliminate the requirements of the PAYGO law, OMB would be required to issue a sequestration order within 15 days of the end of the session of Congress to reduce spending in fiscal year 2018 by the resultant total of $136 billion. However, the PAYGO law limits reductions to Medicare to four percentage points (or roughly $25 billion for that year), leaving about $111 billion to be sequestered from the remaining mandatory accounts.” [CBO, 11/14/17]

Center For American Progress: Pennsylvania Would See A $1.2 Billion Cut In Medicare Funds. [Center for American Progress, 11/16/17]

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): Republicans Need To Cut Medicare Next To Pay For Tax Cuts. “‘I analyze this very differently than most,’ Rubio told the crowd. ‘Many argue that you can’t cut taxes because it will drive up the deficit. But we have to do two things. We have to generate economic growth which generates revenue, while reducing spending. That will mean instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare for the future,’ the senator said.” [Financial Advisor Magazine, 11/30/17]

Center On Budget And Policy Priorities: “Senate Tax Bill Would Add 13 Million To Uninsured To Pay For Tax Cuts Of Nearly $100,000 Per Year For The Top 0.1 Percent.” “The savings from eliminating the mandate would come entirely from reducing health coverage. For example, the federal government would spend less on premium tax credits because fewer people would sign up for marketplace coverage, less on Medicaid because fewer people would enroll, and less on the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance because fewer employees would enroll in job-based coverage. These savings are what let Senate leaders make their full corporate rate cut permanent…The benefits of corporate rate cuts go overwhelmingly to high-income households.” [CBPP, 11/15/17]

PASSING ALEXANDER-MURRAY AFTER VOTING FOR REPEAL IS LIKE INSTALLING GUARDRAILS ON THE HIGHWAY AFTER YOUR CAR HAS GONE OVER THE CLIFF

CBO: Passing Alexander-Murray After The Repeal Of The Individual Responsibility Provision Would Not Undo The Damage. “In your letter of November 21, 2017, you asked about the combined effects of simultaneously passing the BHCSA and legislation that would repeal the requirement that most U.S. citizens and noncitizens who lawfully reside in the country have health insurance meeting specified standards. Specifically, you asked if legislation that combined the provisions would change the agencies’ previous estimates of the number of people with insurance coverage or premiums in the nongroup insurance market. In the estimate for the BHCSA, the agencies wrote that, relative to the Summer 2017 baseline, the legislation would not substantially change the number of people with health insurance coverage, on net.” [CBO, 11/29/17]

There Is No Guarantee Alexander-Murray Would Pass The House, Let Alone Become Law. There is no guarantee Alexander-Murray would pass the House, let alone become law. Speaker Ryan dodged questions about its fate in the House. House conservatives called it a “nonstarter.” And President Trump has been all over the map on this issue his word cannot be trusted.

THE LEADING EXPERTS — PATIENT GROUPS, INSURERS, DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS — AND MORE THAN 2,400 FAITH LEADERS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OPPOSE HEALTH REPEAL

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, And 16 More Leading Patient Groups: People With “Serious Health Care Needs” And With Pre-Existing Conditions “May Not Be Able To Afford Coverage.” “Many individuals with serious health care needs, including patients with chronic or major health conditions, who by definition, have a pre-existing condition, may not be able to afford coverage.” [The Hill, 11/28/17]

America’s Health Insurance Plans, American Academy Of Family Physicians, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Federation Of American Hospitals: Leading Industry Groups Warn Of “Serious Consequences” Should The Mandate Be Repealed. “As providers of healthcare and coverage to hundreds of millions of Americans, we are committed to assuring everyone has access to a range of high quality, affordable coverage options so they can access the care they need, regardless of pre-existing conditions. To achieve this critical goal, we are urging you to maintain the individual mandate unless and until Congress can enact a package of reforms to adequately assure a balanced risk pool and prevent extraordinary premium increases.” [Letter, 11/14/17]

More Than 2,400 Faith Leaders: “That The Number Of Uninsured Individuals Would Increase By 13 Million By 2025…Violates Our Faith Teaching.” “The individual mandate is critical to keeping individual market coverage affordable and keeping the individual market stable. By repealing the individual mandate, legislation will cause catastrophic losses in health coverage. The CBO estimates that the number of uninsured individuals would increase by 13 million by 2025, which violates our faith teaching.” [Letter, 11/29/17]

Fact Sheet on Health Repeal in Senate Passed Tax Bill — Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA)

Spotlight: Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA)

Senate Republicans passed a tax bill on Friday night that repeals health care to pay for another massive tax break for the wealthiest and corporations. What the repeal of the individual mandate in the Senate bill means is simple: while the wealthy and corporations get a tax break, middle-class families will get double digit premium increases, 13 million people will lose their coverage, older Americans will get an age tax and $25 billion in Medicare funding will be cut.

The bill passed by the House did not include the repeal of the individual mandate. The House should insist that it stays out. Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) has one opportunity left to take a stand against any inclusion of the individual mandate in the final bill which, if passed with the repeal of the individual mandate, would cause 290,000 people to lose coverage in Washington including 28,900 people in Rep. Reichert’s district, impose an age tax of up to $1,500 on older adults nationally, and cut $444 million in Medicare funds to Washington all to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.

SENATE REPUBLICANS JUST VOTED TO REPEAL HEALTH CARE — RAISING PREMIUMS BY DOUBLE DIGITS FOR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES, RIPPING AWAY COVERAGE FOR 13 MILLION AMERICANS, IMPOSING AN AGE TAX ON OLDER AMERICANS AND GUTTING MEDICARE BY $25 BILLION — ALL TO PAY FOR SPECIAL TAX BREAKS FOR MILLIONAIRES AND BIG CORPORATIONS

Congressional Budget Office: Republican Tax Bill Will Result In 13 Million More Uninsured People. “The number of people with health insurance would decrease by 4 million in 2019 and 13 million in 2027.” [CBO, 11/8/17]

Center For American Progress: Senate Tax Bill Will Result In 290,000 More Uninsured In Washington, 28,900 In Rep. Reichert’s District.[Center for American Progress, 11/16/1712/5/17]

CBO: Average Premiums Will Increase By 10 Percent In Most Years Of The Next Decade Due To The Republican Tax Bill. “Average premiums in the nongroup market would increase by about 10 percent in most years of the decade (with no changes in the ages of people purchasing insurance accounted for) relative to CBO’s baseline projections.” [CBO, 11/8/17]

CBO: Healthier People Less Likely To Purchase Health Coverage, Raising Costs For Everyone Else. “Those effects would occur mainly because healthier people would be less likely to obtain insurance and because, especially in the nongroup market, the resulting increases in premiums would cause more people to not purchase insurance.” [CBO, 11/8/17]

AARP: Premiums For People Over 50 Would Increase Up To $1,500 Nationally Because Of Health Care Repeal In The Republican Tax Bill.“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as reported by the Senate Finance Committee on Nov. 16, 2017 includes a new provision that would both reduce health care coverage and increase costs for millions of Americans. Older adults ages 50–64 would be at particularly high risk under the proposal, facing average premium increases of up to $1,500 in 2019 as a result of the bill.” [AARP, 11/21/17]

CBO: Republican Tax Bill Would Trigger A $25 Billion Cut To Medicare.“Without enacting subsequent legislation to either offset that deficit increase, waive the recordation of the bill’s impact on the scorecard, or otherwise mitigate or eliminate the requirements of the PAYGO law, OMB would be required to issue a sequestration order within 15 days of the end of the session of Congress to reduce spending in fiscal year 2018 by the resultant total of $136 billion. However, the PAYGO law limits reductions to Medicare to four percentage points (or roughly $25 billion for that year), leaving about $111 billion to be sequestered from the remaining mandatory accounts.” [CBO, 11/14/17]

Center For American Progress: Washington Would See A $444 Million Cut In Medicare Funds. [Center for American Progress, 11/16/17]

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): Republicans Need To Cut Medicare Next To Pay For Tax Cuts. “‘I analyze this very differently than most,’ Rubio told the crowd. ‘Many argue that you can’t cut taxes because it will drive up the deficit. But we have to do two things. We have to generate economic growth which generates revenue, while reducing spending. That will mean instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare for the future,’ the senator said.” [Financial Advisor Magazine, 11/30/17]

Center On Budget And Policy Priorities: “Senate Tax Bill Would Add 13 Million To Uninsured To Pay For Tax Cuts Of Nearly $100,000 Per Year For The Top 0.1 Percent.” “The savings from eliminating the mandate would come entirely from reducing health coverage. For example, the federal government would spend less on premium tax credits because fewer people would sign up for marketplace coverage, less on Medicaid because fewer people would enroll, and less on the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance because fewer employees would enroll in job-based coverage. These savings are what let Senate leaders make their full corporate rate cut permanent…The benefits of corporate rate cuts go overwhelmingly to high-income households.” [CBPP, 11/15/17]

PASSING ALEXANDER-MURRAY AFTER VOTING FOR REPEAL IS LIKE INSTALLING GUARDRAILS ON THE HIGHWAY AFTER YOUR CAR HAS GONE OVER THE CLIFF

CBO: Passing Alexander-Murray After The Repeal Of The Individual Responsibility Provision Would Not Undo The Damage. “In your letter of November 21, 2017, you asked about the combined effects of simultaneously passing the BHCSA and legislation that would repeal the requirement that most U.S. citizens and noncitizens who lawfully reside in the country have health insurance meeting specified standards. Specifically, you asked if legislation that combined the provisions would change the agencies’ previous estimates of the number of people with insurance coverage or premiums in the nongroup insurance market. In the estimate for the BHCSA, the agencies wrote that, relative to the Summer 2017 baseline, the legislation would not substantially change the number of people with health insurance coverage, on net.” [CBO, 11/29/17]

There Is No Guarantee Alexander-Murray Would Pass The House, Let Alone Become Law. There is no guarantee Alexander-Murray would pass the House, let alone become law. Speaker Ryan dodged questions about its fate in the House. House conservatives called it a “nonstarter.” And President Trump has been all over the map on this issue his word cannot be trusted.

THE LEADING EXPERTS — PATIENT GROUPS, INSURERS, DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS — AND MORE THAN 2,400 FAITH LEADERS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OPPOSE HEALTH REPEAL

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, And 16 More Leading Patient Groups: People With “Serious Health Care Needs” And With Pre-Existing Conditions “May Not Be Able To Afford Coverage.” “Many individuals with serious health care needs, including patients with chronic or major health conditions, who by definition, have a pre-existing condition, may not be able to afford coverage.” [The Hill, 11/28/17]

America’s Health Insurance Plans, American Academy Of Family Physicians, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Federation Of American Hospitals: Leading Industry Groups Warn Of “Serious Consequences” Should The Mandate Be Repealed. “As providers of healthcare and coverage to hundreds of millions of Americans, we are committed to assuring everyone has access to a range of high quality, affordable coverage options so they can access the care they need, regardless of pre-existing conditions. To achieve this critical goal, we are urging you to maintain the individual mandate unless and until Congress can enact a package of reforms to adequately assure a balanced risk pool and prevent extraordinary premium increases.” [Letter, 11/14/17]

More Than 2,400 Faith Leaders: “That The Number Of Uninsured Individuals Would Increase By 13 Million By 2025…Violates Our Faith Teaching.” “The individual mandate is critical to keeping individual market coverage affordable and keeping the individual market stable. By repealing the individual mandate, legislation will cause catastrophic losses in health coverage. The CBO estimates that the number of uninsured individuals would increase by 13 million by 2025, which violates our faith teaching.” [Letter, 11/29/17]

Fact Sheet on Health Repeal in Senate Tax Bill — Rep. Mike Coffman

Spotlight: Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO)

Senate Republicans passed a tax bill on Friday night that repeals health care to pay for another massive tax break for the wealthiest and corporations. What the repeal of the individual mandate in the Senate bill means is simple: while the wealthy and corporations get a tax break, middle-class families will get double digit premium increases, 13 million people will lose their coverage, older Americans will get an age tax and $25 billion in Medicare funding will be cut.

The bill passed by the House did not include the repeal of the individual mandate. The House should insist that it stays out. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) has one opportunity left to take a stand against any inclusion of the individual mandate in the final bill which, if passed with the repeal of the individual mandate, would cause 235,000 people to lose coverage in Colorado including 30,700 in Rep. Coffman’s district, impose an age tax of up to $1,500 on older adults nationwide, and cut $302 million in Medicare funds to Colorado all to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.

SENATE REPUBLICANS JUST VOTED TO REPEAL HEALTH CARE — RAISING PREMIUMS BY DOUBLE DIGITS FOR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES, RIPPING AWAY COVERAGE FOR 13 MILLION AMERICANS, IMPOSING AN AGE TAX ON OLDER AMERICANS AND GUTTING MEDICARE BY $25 BILLION — ALL TO PAY FOR SPECIAL TAX BREAKS FOR MILLIONAIRES AND BIG CORPORATIONS

Congressional Budget Office: Republican Tax Bill Will Result In 13 Million More Uninsured People. “The number of people with health insurance would decrease by 4 million in 2019 and 13 million in 2027.” [CBO, 11/8/17]

Center For American Progress: Senate Tax Bill Will Result In 235,000 More Uninsured In Colorado, 30,700 More In Rep. Coffman’s District.[Center for American Progress, 11/16/17]

CBO: Average Premiums Will Increase By 10 Percent In Most Years Of The Next Decade Due To The Republican Tax Bill. “Average premiums in the nongroup market would increase by about 10 percent in most years of the decade (with no changes in the ages of people purchasing insurance accounted for) relative to CBO’s baseline projections.” [CBO, 11/8/17]

CBO: Healthier People Less Likely To Purchase Health Coverage, Raising Costs For Everyone Else. “Those effects would occur mainly because healthier people would be less likely to obtain insurance and because, especially in the nongroup market, the resulting increases in premiums would cause more people to not purchase insurance.” [CBO, 11/8/17]

AARP: Premiums For People Over 50 Would Increase Up To $1,500 Because Of Health Care Repeal In The Republican Tax Bill. “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as reported by the Senate Finance Committee on Nov. 16, 2017 includes a new provision that would both reduce health care coverage and increase costs for millions of Americans. Older adults ages 50–64 would be at particularly high risk under the proposal, facing average premium increases of up to $1,500 in 2019 as a result of the bill.” [AARP, 11/21/17]

CBO: Republican Tax Bill Would Trigger A $25 Billion Cut To Medicare.“Without enacting subsequent legislation to either offset that deficit increase, waive the recordation of the bill’s impact on the scorecard, or otherwise mitigate or eliminate the requirements of the PAYGO law, OMB would be required to issue a sequestration order within 15 days of the end of the session of Congress to reduce spending in fiscal year 2018 by the resultant total of $136 billion. However, the PAYGO law limits reductions to Medicare to four percentage points (or roughly $25 billion for that year), leaving about $111 billion to be sequestered from the remaining mandatory accounts.” [CBO, 11/14/17]

Center For American Progress: Colorado Would See A $302 Million Cut In Medicare Funds. [Center for American Progress, 11/16/17]

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): Republicans Need To Cut Medicare Next To Pay For Tax Cuts. “‘I analyze this very differently than most,’ Rubio told the crowd. ‘Many argue that you can’t cut taxes because it will drive up the deficit. But we have to do two things. We have to generate economic growth which generates revenue, while reducing spending. That will mean instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare for the future,’ the senator said.” [Financial Advisor Magazine, 11/30/17]

Center On Budget And Policy Priorities: “Senate Tax Bill Would Add 13 Million To Uninsured To Pay For Tax Cuts Of Nearly $100,000 Per Year For The Top 0.1 Percent.” “The savings from eliminating the mandate would come entirely from reducing health coverage. For example, the federal government would spend less on premium tax credits because fewer people would sign up for marketplace coverage, less on Medicaid because fewer people would enroll, and less on the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance because fewer employees would enroll in job-based coverage. These savings are what let Senate leaders make their full corporate rate cut permanent…The benefits of corporate rate cuts go overwhelmingly to high-income households.” [CBPP, 11/15/17]

PASSING ALEXANDER-MURRAY AFTER VOTING FOR REPEAL IS LIKE INSTALLING GUARDRAILS ON THE HIGHWAY AFTER YOUR CAR HAS GONE OVER THE CLIFF

CBO: Passing Alexander-Murray After The Repeal Of The Individual Responsibility Provision Would Not Undo The Damage. “In your letter of November 21, 2017, you asked about the combined effects of simultaneously passing the BHCSA and legislation that would repeal the requirement that most U.S. citizens and noncitizens who lawfully reside in the country have health insurance meeting specified standards. Specifically, you asked if legislation that combined the provisions would change the agencies’ previous estimates of the number of people with insurance coverage or premiums in the nongroup insurance market. In the estimate for the BHCSA, the agencies wrote that, relative to the Summer 2017 baseline, the legislation would not substantially change the number of people with health insurance coverage, on net.” [CBO, 11/29/17]

There Is No Guarantee Alexander-Murray Would Pass The House, Let Alone Become Law. There is no guarantee Alexander-Murray would pass the House, let alone become law. Speaker Ryan dodged questions about its fate in the House. House conservatives called it a “nonstarter.” And President Trump has been all over the map on this issue his word cannot be trusted.

THE LEADING EXPERTS — PATIENT GROUPS, INSURERS, DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS — AND MORE THAN 2,400 FAITH LEADERS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OPPOSE HEALTH REPEAL

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, And 16 More Leading Patient Groups: People With “Serious Health Care Needs” And With Pre-Existing Conditions “May Not Be Able To Afford Coverage.” “Many individuals with serious health care needs, including patients with chronic or major health conditions, who by definition, have a pre-existing condition, may not be able to afford coverage.” [The Hill, 11/28/17]

America’s Health Insurance Plans, American Academy Of Family Physicians, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Federation Of American Hospitals: Leading Industry Groups Warn Of “Serious Consequences” Should The Mandate Be Repealed. “As providers of healthcare and coverage to hundreds of millions of Americans, we are committed to assuring everyone has access to a range of high quality, affordable coverage options so they can access the care they need, regardless of pre-existing conditions. To achieve this critical goal, we are urging you to maintain the individual mandate unless and until Congress can enact a package of reforms to adequately assure a balanced risk pool and prevent extraordinary premium increases.” [Letter, 11/14/17]

More Than 2,400 Faith Leaders: “That The Number Of Uninsured Individuals Would Increase By 13 Million By 2025…Violates Our Faith Teaching.” “The individual mandate is critical to keeping individual market coverage affordable and keeping the individual market stable. By repealing the individual mandate, legislation will cause catastrophic losses in health coverage. The CBO estimates that the number of uninsured individuals would increase by 13 million by 2025, which violates our faith teaching.” [Letter, 11/29/17]

Protect Our Care Fact Sheet on Health Repeal in Senate Passed Tax Bill

Spotlight: Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA)

Senate Republicans passed a tax bill on Friday night that repeals health care to pay for another massive tax break for the wealthiest and corporations. What the repeal of the individual mandate in the Senate bill means is simple: while the wealthy and corporations get a tax break, middle-class families will get double digit premium increases, 13 million people will lose their coverage, older Americans will get an age tax and $25 billion in Medicare funding will be cut.

The bill passed by the House did not include the repeal of the individual mandate. The House should insist that it stays out. Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) has one opportunity left to take a stand against any inclusion of the individual mandate in the final bill which, if passed with the repeal of the individual mandate, would cause 505,000 people to lose coverage in Pennsylvania including 25,900 in Rep. Meehan’s district, raise premiums on middle-class families by $2,300 and impose an age tax of up to $1,700 on older Pennsylvanians, and cut $1.2 billion in Medicare funds to Pennsylvania all to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.

SENATE REPUBLICANS JUST VOTED TO REPEAL HEALTH CARE — RAISING PREMIUMS BY DOUBLE DIGITS FOR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES, RIPPING AWAY COVERAGE FOR 13 MILLION AMERICANS, IMPOSING AN AGE TAX ON OLDER AMERICANS AND GUTTING MEDICARE BY $25 BILLION — ALL TO PAY FOR SPECIAL TAX BREAKS FOR MILLIONAIRES AND BIG CORPORATIONS

Congressional Budget Office: Republican Tax Bill Will Result In 13 Million More Uninsured People. “The number of people with health insurance would decrease by 4 million in 2019 and 13 million in 2027.” [CBO, 11/8/17]

Center For American Progress: Senate Tax Bill Will Result In 505,000 More Uninsured In Pennsylvania, 25,900 More In Rep. Meehan’s District.[Center for American Progress, 11/16/1712/5/17]

CBO: Average Premiums Will Increase By 10 Percent In Most Years Of The Next Decade Due To The Republican Tax Bill. “Average premiums in the nongroup market would increase by about 10 percent in most years of the decade (with no changes in the ages of people purchasing insurance accounted for) relative to CBO’s baseline projections.” [CBO, 11/8/17]

Center For American Progress: Marketplace Premiums For A Typical Middle-Class Family In Pennsylvania Will Rise By $2,300 In 2019. [Center for American Progress, 11/16/17]

CBO: Healthier People Less Likely To Purchase Health Coverage, Raising Costs For Everyone Else. “Those effects would occur mainly because healthier people would be less likely to obtain insurance and because, especially in the nongroup market, the resulting increases in premiums would cause more people to not purchase insurance.” [CBO, 11/8/17]

AARP: Premiums For People Over 50 Would Increase Up To $1,500 Nationally, And Up To $1,700 In Pennsylvania, Because Of Health Care Repeal In The Republican Tax Bill. “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as reported by the Senate Finance Committee on Nov. 16, 2017 includes a new provision that would both reduce health care coverage and increase costs for millions of Americans. Older adults ages 50–64 would be at particularly high risk under the proposal, facing average premium increases of up to $1,500 in 2019 as a result of the bill.” [AARP, 11/21/17]

CBO: Republican Tax Bill Would Trigger A $25 Billion Cut To Medicare.“Without enacting subsequent legislation to either offset that deficit increase, waive the recordation of the bill’s impact on the scorecard, or otherwise mitigate or eliminate the requirements of the PAYGO law, OMB would be required to issue a sequestration order within 15 days of the end of the session of Congress to reduce spending in fiscal year 2018 by the resultant total of $136 billion. However, the PAYGO law limits reductions to Medicare to four percentage points (or roughly $25 billion for that year), leaving about $111 billion to be sequestered from the remaining mandatory accounts.” [CBO, 11/14/17]

Center For American Progress: Pennsylvania Would See A $1.2 Billion Cut In Medicare Funds. [Center for American Progress, 11/16/17]

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): Republicans Need To Cut Medicare Next To Pay For Tax Cuts. “‘I analyze this very differently than most,’ Rubio told the crowd. ‘Many argue that you can’t cut taxes because it will drive up the deficit. But we have to do two things. We have to generate economic growth which generates revenue, while reducing spending. That will mean instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare for the future,’ the senator said.” [Financial Advisor Magazine, 11/30/17]

Center On Budget And Policy Priorities: “Senate Tax Bill Would Add 13 Million To Uninsured To Pay For Tax Cuts Of Nearly $100,000 Per Year For The Top 0.1 Percent.” “The savings from eliminating the mandate would come entirely from reducing health coverage. For example, the federal government would spend less on premium tax credits because fewer people would sign up for marketplace coverage, less on Medicaid because fewer people would enroll, and less on the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance because fewer employees would enroll in job-based coverage. These savings are what let Senate leaders make their full corporate rate cut permanent…The benefits of corporate rate cuts go overwhelmingly to high-income households.” [CBPP, 11/15/17]

PASSING ALEXANDER-MURRAY AFTER VOTING FOR REPEAL IS LIKE INSTALLING GUARDRAILS ON THE HIGHWAY AFTER YOUR CAR HAS GONE OVER THE CLIFF

CBO: Passing Alexander-Murray After The Repeal Of The Individual Responsibility Provision Would Not Undo The Damage. “In your letter of November 21, 2017, you asked about the combined effects of simultaneously passing the BHCSA and legislation that would repeal the requirement that most U.S. citizens and noncitizens who lawfully reside in the country have health insurance meeting specified standards. Specifically, you asked if legislation that combined the provisions would change the agencies’ previous estimates of the number of people with insurance coverage or premiums in the nongroup insurance market. In the estimate for the BHCSA, the agencies wrote that, relative to the Summer 2017 baseline, the legislation would not substantially change the number of people with health insurance coverage, on net.” [CBO, 11/29/17]

There Is No Guarantee Alexander-Murray Would Pass The House, Let Alone Become Law. There is no guarantee Alexander-Murray would pass the House, let alone become law. Speaker Ryan dodged questions about its fate in the House. House conservatives called it a “nonstarter.” And President Trump has been all over the map on this issue his word cannot be trusted.

THE LEADING EXPERTS — PATIENT GROUPS, INSURERS, DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS — AND MORE THAN 2,400 FAITH LEADERS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OPPOSE HEALTH REPEAL

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, And 16 More Leading Patient Groups: People With “Serious Health Care Needs” And With Pre-Existing Conditions “May Not Be Able To Afford Coverage.” “Many individuals with serious health care needs, including patients with chronic or major health conditions, who by definition, have a pre-existing condition, may not be able to afford coverage.” [The Hill, 11/28/17]

America’s Health Insurance Plans, American Academy Of Family Physicians, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Federation Of American Hospitals: Leading Industry Groups Warn Of “Serious Consequences” Should The Mandate Be Repealed. “As providers of healthcare and coverage to hundreds of millions of Americans, we are committed to assuring everyone has access to a range of high quality, affordable coverage options so they can access the care they need, regardless of pre-existing conditions. To achieve this critical goal, we are urging you to maintain the individual mandate unless and until Congress can enact a package of reforms to adequately assure a balanced risk pool and prevent extraordinary premium increases.” [Letter, 11/14/17]

More Than 2,400 Faith Leaders: “That The Number Of Uninsured Individuals Would Increase By 13 Million By 2025…Violates Our Faith Teaching.” “The individual mandate is critical to keeping individual market coverage affordable and keeping the individual market stable. By repealing the individual mandate, legislation will cause catastrophic losses in health coverage. The CBO estimates that the number of uninsured individuals would increase by 13 million by 2025, which violates our faith teaching.” [Letter, 11/29/17]

Fact Sheet on Health Repeal in Senate Tax Bill — Rep. Peter Roskam

Spotlight: Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL)

Senate Republicans passed a tax bill on Friday night that repeals health care to pay for another massive tax break for the wealthiest and corporations. What the repeal of the individual mandate in the Senate bill means is simple: while the wealthy and corporations get a tax break, middle-class families will get double digit premium increases, 13 million people will lose their coverage, older Americans will get an age tax and $25 billion in Medicare funding will be cut.

The bill passed by the House did not include the repeal of the individual mandate. The House should insist that it stays out. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) has one opportunity left to take a stand against any inclusion of the individual mandate in the final bill which, if passed with the repeal of the individual mandate, would cause 525,000 people to lose coverage in Illinois including 27,600 in Rep. Roskam’s district, raise premiums on middle-class families by $1,940 and impose an age tax of up to $1,400 on older Illinoisans, and cut $970 million in Medicare funds to Illinois all to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.

SENATE REPUBLICANS JUST VOTED TO REPEAL HEALTH CARE — RAISING PREMIUMS BY DOUBLE DIGITS FOR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES, RIPPING AWAY COVERAGE FOR 13 MILLION AMERICANS, IMPOSING AN AGE TAX ON OLDER AMERICANS AND GUTTING MEDICARE BY $25 BILLION — ALL TO PAY FOR SPECIAL TAX BREAKS FOR MILLIONAIRES AND BIG CORPORATIONS

Congressional Budget Office: Republican Tax Bill Will Result In 13 Million More Uninsured People. “The number of people with health insurance would decrease by 4 million in 2019 and 13 million in 2027.” [CBO, 11/8/17]

Center For American Progress: Senate Tax Bill Will Result In 525,000 More Uninsured In Illinois, 27,600 More In Rep. Roskam’s District.[Center for American Progress, 11/16/1712/5/17]

CBO: Average Premiums Will Increase By 10 Percent In Most Years Of The Next Decade Due To The Republican Tax Bill. “Average premiums in the nongroup market would increase by about 10 percent in most years of the decade (with no changes in the ages of people purchasing insurance accounted for) relative to CBO’s baseline projections.” [CBO, 11/8/17]

Center For American Progress: Marketplace Premiums For A Typical Middle-Class Family In Illinois Will Rise By $1,940 In 2019. [Center for American Progress, 11/16/17]

CBO: Healthier People Less Likely To Purchase Health Coverage, Raising Costs For Everyone Else. “Those effects would occur mainly because healthier people would be less likely to obtain insurance and because, especially in the nongroup market, the resulting increases in premiums would cause more people to not purchase insurance.” [CBO, 11/8/17]

AARP: Premiums For People Over 50 Would Increase Up To $1,500 Nationally, And Up To $1,400 In Illinois, Because Of Health Care Repeal In The Republican Tax Bill. “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as reported by the Senate Finance Committee on Nov. 16, 2017 includes a new provision that would both reduce health care coverage and increase costs for millions of Americans. Older adults ages 50–64 would be at particularly high risk under the proposal, facing average premium increases of up to $1,500 in 2019 as a result of the bill.” [AARP, 11/21/17]

CBO: Republican Tax Bill Would Trigger A $25 Billion Cut To Medicare.“Without enacting subsequent legislation to either offset that deficit increase, waive the recordation of the bill’s impact on the scorecard, or otherwise mitigate or eliminate the requirements of the PAYGO law, OMB would be required to issue a sequestration order within 15 days of the end of the session of Congress to reduce spending in fiscal year 2018 by the resultant total of $136 billion. However, the PAYGO law limits reductions to Medicare to four percentage points (or roughly $25 billion for that year), leaving about $111 billion to be sequestered from the remaining mandatory accounts.” [CBO, 11/14/17]

Center For American Progress: Illinois Would See A $970 Million Cut In Medicare Funds. [Center for American Progress, 11/16/17]

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): Republicans Need To Cut Medicare Next To Pay For Tax Cuts. “‘I analyze this very differently than most,’ Rubio told the crowd. ‘Many argue that you can’t cut taxes because it will drive up the deficit. But we have to do two things. We have to generate economic growth which generates revenue, while reducing spending. That will mean instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare for the future,’ the senator said.” [Financial Advisor Magazine, 11/30/17]

Center On Budget And Policy Priorities: “Senate Tax Bill Would Add 13 Million To Uninsured To Pay For Tax Cuts Of Nearly $100,000 Per Year For The Top 0.1 Percent.” “The savings from eliminating the mandate would come entirely from reducing health coverage. For example, the federal government would spend less on premium tax credits because fewer people would sign up for marketplace coverage, less on Medicaid because fewer people would enroll, and less on the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance because fewer employees would enroll in job-based coverage. These savings are what let Senate leaders make their full corporate rate cut permanent…The benefits of corporate rate cuts go overwhelmingly to high-income households.” [CBPP, 11/15/17]

PASSING ALEXANDER-MURRAY AFTER VOTING FOR REPEAL IS LIKE INSTALLING GUARDRAILS ON THE HIGHWAY AFTER YOUR CAR HAS GONE OVER THE CLIFF

CBO: Passing Alexander-Murray After The Repeal Of The Individual Responsibility Provision Would Not Undo The Damage. “In your letter of November 21, 2017, you asked about the combined effects of simultaneously passing the BHCSA and legislation that would repeal the requirement that most U.S. citizens and noncitizens who lawfully reside in the country have health insurance meeting specified standards. Specifically, you asked if legislation that combined the provisions would change the agencies’ previous estimates of the number of people with insurance coverage or premiums in the nongroup insurance market. In the estimate for the BHCSA, the agencies wrote that, relative to the Summer 2017 baseline, the legislation would not substantially change the number of people with health insurance coverage, on net.” [CBO, 11/29/17]

There Is No Guarantee Alexander-Murray Would Pass The House, Let Alone Become Law. There is no guarantee Alexander-Murray would pass the House, let alone become law. Speaker Ryan dodged questions about its fate in the House. House conservatives called it a “nonstarter.” And President Trump has been all over the map on this issue his word cannot be trusted.

THE LEADING EXPERTS — PATIENT GROUPS, INSURERS, DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS — AND MORE THAN 2,400 FAITH LEADERS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OPPOSE HEALTH REPEAL

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, And 16 More Leading Patient Groups: People With “Serious Health Care Needs” And With Pre-Existing Conditions “May Not Be Able To Afford Coverage.” “Many individuals with serious health care needs, including patients with chronic or major health conditions, who by definition, have a pre-existing condition, may not be able to afford coverage.” [The Hill, 11/28/17]

America’s Health Insurance Plans, American Academy Of Family Physicians, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Federation Of American Hospitals: Leading Industry Groups Warn Of “Serious Consequences” Should The Mandate Be Repealed. “As providers of healthcare and coverage to hundreds of millions of Americans, we are committed to assuring everyone has access to a range of high quality, affordable coverage options so they can access the care they need, regardless of pre-existing conditions. To achieve this critical goal, we are urging you to maintain the individual mandate unless and until Congress can enact a package of reforms to adequately assure a balanced risk pool and prevent extraordinary premium increases.” [Letter, 11/14/17]

More Than 2,400 Faith Leaders: “That The Number Of Uninsured Individuals Would Increase By 13 Million By 2025…Violates Our Faith Teaching.” “The individual mandate is critical to keeping individual market coverage affordable and keeping the individual market stable. By repealing the individual mandate, legislation will cause catastrophic losses in health coverage. The CBO estimates that the number of uninsured individuals would increase by 13 million by 2025, which violates our faith teaching.” [Letter, 11/29/17]