Yesterday, Senate leadership announced that a vote on the Senate health care bill – the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) – would be postponed until after the July 4 recess. In the coming weeks, Leader McConnell will try to wrangle together enough votes to pass the BCRA by offering relatively small “fixes” to placate various factions of his caucus. Changes to this bill, however, will not fix what ails the policies behind it. Both the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA) and BCRA would cause substantial harm to millions of Americans.
Let’s review why the House and Senate bills, if enacted, would decimate health insurance coverage and care. Here are just some of the dangers:
- 15 million people will lose their insurance next year and over 22 million people will be uninsured by 2026
- Medicaid would be cut by up to 26% in the next 10 years – $772 billion – and would face steeper cuts starting in 2025
- Millions of people would have skimpier coverage and care, and greater out-of-pocket expenses
- States would be allowed to waive requirements such as covering essential health benefits
- Older, low-income adults would fare the worst
- Health care in rural communities would be devastated
- Medicare’s finances would be undermined
All this suffering in order to pay for massive tax cuts for the wealthy.
Remember: the House called off a vote on their bill, which appeared to end the current health care debate, then redoubled their efforts and passed a bill.
The same thing can happen in the Senate. That is why the Center for Medicare Advocacy has joined a broad coalition of organizations to urge people to use the July 4 recess to attend town halls, parades and rallies, and continue calling your Senators to tell them how this bill would impact people.
- Find a town hall event: https://townhallproject.com (Find tips for attending a town hall at http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/10/politics/town-hall-location-congress)
- Get numbers for every Senator's in-state and Washington, DC offices at https://action.seiu.org/page/content/congressional-offices
The fight is not over.