Washington DC — Tomorrow, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is set to release House Republicans’ “Commitment to America” agenda. No matter what claims they might make, the House Republican agenda is clear and includes dangerous measures to hike prescription drug costs and gut Medicare and Social Security for millions of seniors. Already, Republicans have promised that if they take control of Congress, they intend to repeal the Affordable Care Act, dismantle protections for people with pre-existing conditions, sunset Medicare and Medicaid, and hike drug and health care costs for millions of working families. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:
“If Republicans take control of the House, it will be harder for American families to go to the doctor or pay the bills if they get sick. Republicans will raise costs for seniors and families, they will go back to a time where people with pre-existing conditions paid more, and they will keep siding with Big Pharma and insurance companies.
“Every Republican in Congress voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, and now they are promising to repeal the entire law, including its groundbreaking prescription drug and premium savings. Republican lawmakers unanimously oppose capping insulin costs, strengthening care for seniors, and other commonsense measures to make health care more affordable, accessible, and equitable. Some things never change: Republicans want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, gut Medicare and Social Security, raise costs, ditch critical protections, and put profits over patients — and nothing Kevin McCarthy says tomorrow will change that.”
The Real Republican Health Care Plan
- Shut Down The Government To Force The Repeal Of Lower Drug Prices And Premiums: Republican leaders have openly said they want to shut down the entire government to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act and impose higher drug costs and premiums on the American people. Rep. Chip Roy said Republicans should shut down the government “on day one” of the new Congress to force repeal, and his colleague Rep. Bob Good agreed, claiming that “gridlock is a good thing” compared to the law. And Sen. Rick Scott, who leads GOP efforts to win the Senate, has also threatened to use any Republican majority to force a repeal of the Inflation Reduction Act.
- Repealing The Inflation Reduction Act Will Harm People of Color, People With Disabilities, And Rural Communities. Republicans’ plan to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act will harm millions of Americans who are benefiting from the bill, including nearly 6 million Medicare beneficiaries of color. Black Medicare beneficiaries are 1.5 times more likely than White beneficiaries to have trouble affording medications, and about two times as likely to not fill needed prescriptions due to cost. Americans who suffer from chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease also benefit greatly from drug pricing provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act. A repeal would mean Americans with disabilities and chronic conditions would continue to pay thousands of dollars a year for necessary medications for treatment. The insulin cap for Medicare beneficiaries included in the Inflation Reduction Act particularly benefits America’s rural communities. Rural Americans are 17 percent more likely to suffer from diabetes than urban Americans. Diabetes risk factors are higher in rural areas than their urban and suburban counterparts as they have less access to health care providers, fewer transportation options to receive care, and higher rates of being uninsured.
- Repeal The ACA: Republicans would also use a Congressional majority to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Just days ago Rep. Scott Perry, the chair of the powerful House Freedom Caucus, was asked whether Republicans would repeal the ACA if they gained a majority. Perry responded, “We’re going to have to absolutely take a look at it if we’re going to help working class Americans be able to afford to stay healthy.”
- End Medicare As We Know It: NRSC Chairman Sen. Rick Scott has rolled out a disastrous agenda for a Republican Senate majority that includes “sunsetting” every federal law after five years – this would include the Affordable Care Act and its protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions as well as the crucial lifelines of Social Security and Medicare. Sen. Ron Johnson goes even further and proposes ending Medicare as an entitlement and instead subjecting the program to the annual appropriations process. Scott and Johnson’s catastrophic plans to remake Medicare and put seniors’ health at risk have support from many Republican candidates for office who support privatizing Medicare and Social Security and slashing funding.