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ROUNDUP: Leading Patient Groups and Experts Denounce GOP Bill to Rip Health Care Away From 21 Million Americans

By April 28, 2023No Comments

This week, House Republicans passed their extreme “Default on America Act,” which is among the GOP’s most extreme health care bills to date. The bill not only rips away coverage for as many as 21 million people who rely on Medicaid, but it also cuts vital health initiatives by 22 percent. From funding for veterans’ health care to nursing home safety to mental health, these cuts will take desperately-needed health care away from families across the nation. Read more about the Republican bill here


National Health Council, Comprising More Than 150 National Health-Related Organizations And Businesses — Including Alzheimer’s Association, NAMI, Susan G. Komen, And More: “Our organizations urge Congress to reject adding a ‘work requirement’ policy to the Medicaid program, recognizing this policy is a thinly veiled effort aimed at cutting and further restricting access to quality and affordable healthcare for millions of Americans. Our organizations represent more than one hundred million Americans living with serious, acute and chronic health conditions, including tens of millions who rely on Medicaid as their primary source of healthcare coverage. Many of our organizations have previously urged opposition to these policies, emphasizing that they do nothing more than result in significantly worsened health outcomes. If enacted, work requirements would also increase uncompensated care, further jeopardizing the financial stability of hospitals on which our patients rely and are the largest employers in many communities.” [National Health Council, 4/17/23]

American Lung Association, CEO Harold Wimmer: “The House passage of the budget bill yesterday is disappointing. If passed into law, this bill would set the country on a path toward a future where fewer Americans are able to access lifesaving medical care, clean air for all becomes harder to achieve and public health agencies are left under-resourced and unprepared for emerging threats. The American Lung Association is deeply disappointed in this bill’s passage.” [American Lung Association, 4/27/23]

American Cancer Society, President Lisa Lacasse: “We’re disappointed by the House passage of a proposal that includes harmful public health policies that would roll back our nation’s progress in the fight against cancer in an aim to address the debt limit. Data show work requirements won’t achieve any intended stated outcomes –  including increasing employment. Restricting access to care by enacting far-reaching work requirements in Medicaid and cutting critical funding for cancer research does nothing more than leave individuals and families diagnosed with and at risk of cancer even more vulnerable to the disease and its costs.” [American Cancer Society, 4/26/23]

American Academy of Pediatrics: “The bill proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives to address the debt limit includes numerous polices that are harmful to the health of children and families. At a time when families need to be supported, this proposal does the opposite – jeopardizing key programs and policies that young people and their families rely on. Pediatricians know first-hand the importance of programs like Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to the health of children and families across the country. It is critical that they can access these vital health care coverage and nutrition programs without added, unnecessary administrative barriers or paperwork. Policies like work requirements make it harder for families to access the health care services and nutrition assistance they need to be healthy.” [American Academy of Pediatrics, 4/26/23]

Families USA, Letter Signed On By Nearly 230 National And State Groups: “Our health should not depend on our wealth in this country. Efforts to undermine Medicaid would harm millions of families whose health hangs in the balance when they cannot get the care they need otherwise. Medicaid is a lifeline to 91 million Americans, providing insurance coverage for millions of children, veterans, and people who own and work at small businesses… These ideas are not new: they were resoundingly rejected by people across the country when they were proposed as part of efforts to repeal the ACA in 2017. Unsurprisingly, the American public continues to strongly oppose them – new polling shows that 71 percent of Americans say it is important to prevent Medicaid cuts. Our collective message is as clear today as it was then: cuts to the Medicaid program are unacceptable.” [Families USA, 4/19/23]

The Leadership Council On Civil And Human Rights Letter Signed On By Fellow Civil Rights Organizations (NAACP, National Action Network National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, National Council of Negro Women, National Urban League, and UnidosUS): “No poor household in this country should have their basic food and health assistance conditioned upon their ability to work or prove they are exempt from work requirements. Past experience shows that a significant number of people would likely lose benefits because their state agency failed to screen them for an exemption they should have qualified for or because they were unable to navigate the verification system to prove they are working.” [The Leadership Council On Civil And Human Rights, 4/25/23]

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: “We strongly urge Congress to protect Medicaid, a vital source of coverage for half of children and one-third of adults with CF. We oppose any barriers that might prevent people with CF from accessing the specialized, high-quality care they need. The evidence is clear that Medicaid work requirements are not about work, rather they’re about paperwork. Making work a condition of Medicaid eligibility could threaten access to care for people with CF, as their ability to work can vary over time with changes in health status. Declines in health status due to pulmonary exacerbations, infections, and other events are common and can take someone out of the workforce for significant periods of time. The added administrative burden of navigating these proposed requirements can also lead to confusion for beneficiaries, even those who are exempt from the work requirements, and cause them to lose health care coverage.” [Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 4/26/23]

MomsRising: “While Republicans in the House congratulate themselves for passing the Limit, Save, Grow Act, moms and families across America shudder to think about the hardship and trauma this legislation would cause, should it ever become law. America’s moms are counting on Congress to act responsibly by passing a clean debt ceiling increase that does not cut SNAP, Medicaid, WIC, early childhood education, and other programs families rely on, does not create insurmountable barriers that prevent children and families from accessing the supports they need, and does not prevent our government from addressing the student debt crisis.” [MomsRising, 4/26/23]