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FACT SHEET: Republicans’ “Default on America” Act Slashes Cancer Research, Veterans’ Care, and Health Coverage For Up To 21 Million People

By April 27, 2023No Comments

Republicans just passed their extreme “Default on America” Act, imperiling health care for more than 21 million people who count on Medicaid and millions more whose health care would be at risk. From funding for cancer research to veterans’ health care to mental health and substance use, these draconian cuts will take desperately needed health care away from families across the nation, particularly hurting people with disabilities, people with mental health and substance use disorders, children, pregnant women, seniors in nursing homes, rural residents, and communities of color. Republicans know that adding more bureaucracy for people to get their Medicaid will only cut enrollment and kick millions off of Medicaid coverage. Even with Medicaid serving more people than ever, Republicans only continue to wage war on working families and American health care.

House Republicans Voted To Slash Critical Health Care Programs. The House Republican default bill not only attempts to rip away health care for millions of people who rely on Medicaid, but it also cuts critical health programs by 22 percent. Here’s what the GOP voted to take away from people:

  1. Veterans’ health care services.
  2. National Institutes of Health (NIH) investments in biomedical innovation and the Moon Shot cancer research program.
  3. Mental health and substance use disorder services, including suicide prevention services and opioid response programs.
  4. Community health centers, which serve 1 in 3 people living in poverty and 1 in 5 rural residents.
  5. Nursing home inspections.
  6. Programs to address health provider shortages.
  7. Maternal health crisis initiatives and services for low-income mothers and babies.
  8. Pandemic preparedness and public health system strengthening.
  9. Health care for federally recognized tribes.

The Extreme GOP Default Bill Threatens Health Care For 21 Million People. Over 21 million Medicaid beneficiaries—nearly 1 in 3 Medicaid enrollees in expansion states—are at risk of losing coverage through so-called work requirements under the GOP bill. Here’s how those work reporting requirements could impact people:

  • More than 50 percent of children would see significant reductions in their health coverage.
  • Upwards of 59 percent of Medicaid participants are people of color, meaning communities of color would be disproportionately impacted.
  • Funding for nearly two-thirds of long-term residents in nursing homes would dry up.
  • Rural residents relying on Medicaid are left behind by Republicans.
  • Nearly 45 percent of adults with disabilities would see reduced health coverage or lose coverage entirely.
  • Births currently covered by Medicaid, over 40 percent of all births in the United States, would be at risk as pregnant/postpartum mothers face new bureaucratic hurdles.
  • Medicaid’s assistance for those with substance use disorders would substantially diminish for thousands of people.
  • Over a quarter of people living with a serious mental health condition would see their coverage cut back.
  • The GOP Plan is hardest on low-income enrollees, especially workers with multiple jobs, and would make it harder for people to meet basic needs.
  • Women, people with HIV, and adults with disabilities (including those aged 50 to 55) would be particularly adversely impacted by Medicaid cuts.