For Immediate Release
July 25, 2017
Contact: Matthew Shepard, 860-456-7790
Washington, DC – Today the Senate narrowly passed a key procedural vote to open debate on one or more health care reform bills that will be voted on in the coming days.
While it is still unclear what mystery bill(s) the Senate will actually vote on, all of the options under consideration would have devastating consequences for millions of people with health insurance coverage. These proposals would roll back important consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), gut Medicaid and leave millions uninsured.
Even emerging rumors of a so-called “skinny repeal bill” that would make smaller, yet critical changes to the ACA, would cause great harm. For example, just eliminating the individual coverage mandate would lead to an estimated 15 million people losing their insurance coverage and a 20% increase in premiums. This kind of damage cannot be fixed in conference committee, where the House and Senate reconcile their respective versions of health “reform.”
Only two Republican Senators – Collins and Murkowski – stood by their convictions that the health reform proposals under discussion would hurt, rather than help, their constituents. It took a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Pence to advance the debate.
“This vote, and the secretive process that led to it,” says Judith Stein, Executive Director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy, “was shameful, but the fight to protect our health care is not over. All of those who value Medicaid, Medicare and the ACA must continue to make their voices heard.”
The Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc., established in 1986, is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan law organization that provides education, advocacy and legal assistance to help older people and people with disabilities obtain fair access to Medicare and quality health care. The Center is headquartered in Washington, DC and Connecticut, with attorneys throughout the country.