Published May 4, 2017 at www.afscme.org
The House of Representatives voted to make your health care worse. The bill, authored by right-wing members, wouldn’t replace Obamacare with something better, as they promised; it would undermine it.
As AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders put it, “It will still leave at least 24 million Americans uninsured, still cut Medicaid in exchange for tax handouts for corporations and millionaires, still cause costs to skyrocket for older Americans and still eviscerate the protections for people with pre-existing conditions that are guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act.”
Known as the American Health Care Act, the bill approved today by the House is a tax cut for the wealthy disguised as health care legislation. It would harm average Americans, including millions of working families already struggling to make ends meet.
Among other things, the House bill would:
• Slash Medicaid by more than $800 billion. One in five Americans rely on Medicaid for their health insurance, and half of all recipients are children. These cuts would dramatically shift costs to states, eroding all public services. And they would reduce access by senior citizens to nursing-home and home-care services.
• Threaten the jobs of school nurses, school social workers, and school counselors and psychologists. The cuts to Medicaid will affect funding for our public schools, which provide healthcare screenings to all students, as well as crucial services to students with disabilities. The cuts will also cause jobs losses in health care fields, especially in homecare and in hospitals.
• Destroy Obamacare protections for people with pre-existing conditions by allowing insurance companies to raise rates for anyone with any pre-existing conditions.
• Allow insurance companies to reinstate lifetime and annual caps on employer-based plans, which is how the majority of Americans get health coverage. That means insurers could refuse to pay claims that exceed a certain amount. For instance, infants born prematurely could reach their lifetime caps in just months. This provision could put 159 million American lives at risk.
Passed by a narrow vote of 217-213, the bill is a threat to everyday Americans in every corner of the nation. As Saunders also said, “Patient groups, healthcare providers, and voters in blue states, red states, and purple states alike have already spoken out repeatedly against this cruel and dangerous legislation. But the House of Representatives and the Trump administration chose to ignore their pleas. It now falls to the U.S. Senate to finally listen to the American people and stop this bill in its tracks.”
Contact your senators now by calling 888-981-9704. Urge them to oppose the American Health Care Act.