The people of the United States are the biggest losers with the House passage of the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act in the form of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) bill.
That’s the sentiment being expressed by a couple of area law makers, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-5th Dist.) and Rep. Betty McCollum (D-4th Dist.) and others. In the second attempt with a Republican in the White House, the Republican-led House narrowly pass a bill that will remove several key provisions of President Obama’s signature legislation and replaces it with an alternate version. The final vote was 217-213. Republicans tried in March to pass an alternative healthcare bill, but it did not make it out of committee.
“In their first major vote under President Trump, House Republicans pushed through a bill that will increase insurance premiums and deductibles, slash hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicaid, and leave millions of working people without affordable healthcare coverage – to finance a $1 trillion tax cut for the top 2 percent of households,” in a statement said Ellison, co-chair of the Democratic National Committee. “Everyday Americans will be forced to pick up this tab, and they’ll pay for it with their health, their security and in some cases, with their lives.”
Ellison said if passed by the Senate and signed by Trump the bill would leave millions uninsured.
“Calling this bill the ‘American Health Care Act’ is a cruel irony – 24 million Americans will likely lose their coverage. Hundreds of millions of people who get their insurance through their employer could see their plans slashed. Seniors and people with pre-existing conditions will be priced out of their insurance plans. And as many as one million Minnesotans who have received affordable care through the expansion of Medicaid, essential health benefits, or the exchange will be worse off,” said Ellison.
“The passage of ‘Trumpcare’ is a reflection of President Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans’ values … they will abandon the sick and the vulnerable to give tax breaks to billionaires and big corporations,” said McCollum in a statement. “This disastrous bill is an all-out attack on children, families, seniors and people with disabilities. No Senate amendments will ever change that. As we move forward with the legislative process, I will keep fighting for affordable, quality health care for all Americans. We must protect our care.”
Others are speaking out against the bill’s passage as well.
“The bill takes away the promise of affordable health care for many vulnerable American citizens,” said Dr. Maya Rockeymoore, president and CEO of the Center for Global Policy Solutions. “Gone would be the guarantees that women could not be charged higher premiums than men, that the working poor—those who make too much for Medicaid yet too little for traditional insurance policies—would have access to affordable plans. Blacks make up 27 percent (1.5 million people) and Hispanics make up 21 percent (1.2 million people) of individuals in this Medicaid gap. The proposed legislation also fundamentally changes Medicaid’s financing structure to a per capita cap, resulting in an estimated $880 billion reduction in federal Medicaid spending from 2017 to 2026.”