In May, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The AHCA is so severe that the President is calling it “mean” and says the Senate should make it more generous and kind. (CNN Politics, 6/14/2017)
The House bill is certainly not kind or generous. It would roll back protections in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), leave 23 million people uninsured, significantly increase health costs for older adults age 50-64, undermine Medicare, and gut the Medicaid program.
Despite the wide-ranging impact of health care on families and the country – constituting roughly one-sixth of our economy – a handful of Senators are privately developing a bill, behind closed doors, with no hearings or opportunity for input. Based on information that has trickled out, the Senate bill is not likely to be more “kind” than the House AHCA. Indeed, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Senate bill would have “virtually the same overall harmful impacts as the House bill.”
The Senate is poised to pass a bill that will dramatically restructure Medicaid, with harsh cuts and caps on payments. This will be devastating for the most vulnerable older and disabled people and tens of millions of families. As noted in a recent Op-Ed in the New York Times,
…what has been largely missing from public discussion is the radical implications that such cuts would have for older and disabled Americans. […] nearly two-thirds of [Medicaid] spending is focused on older and disabled adults — primarily through spending on long-term care services such as nursing homes. (“You’re Probably Going to Need Medicaid” 6/13/2017)
The Times Op-Ed warned the anticipated Medicaid cuts would shift costs to families as well as to States and other federal programs, including Medicare. The authors conclude: “draconian cuts to Medicaid affect all of our families. They are a direct attack on our elderly, our disabled and our dignity.”
The Senate could pass this dreadful bill by its July 4th recess. Time is of the essence! Act now to insist on a true health care bill that supports the ACA, Medicaid, Medicare, and quality health coverage and care for all Americans.
Don't let the Senate gut health care! Contact your Senators and tell them to protect your care.
- Call your Senators: 1-866-426-2631. (Need Call scripts/talking points?)
- Follow up with an email using this handy tool from our friends at Families USA.
Ready to do more?
- Attend events and rallies in your state.
- Use social media to reach Senators, state and local policymakers and your networks
- Generate media coverage of this issue, including op-eds and letters to the editor
Thank you for helping #ProtectOurCare!