Senator McConnell's Health Care Bill Has Arrived. And It Will Harm Millions

June 22, 2017

 

At long last, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has released the Senate version of the health care bill. And frankly, it is a terrible bill that will harm millions of Americans: it will end the mandate that most Americans have health insurance, deeply cut Medicaid, and allow state governments to drop many benefits that the Affordable Care Act requires they cover, such as maternity care, emergency services, and treatment for mental health. 

 

Several sources claimed this bill would be drastically different from the House bill that was. It is not. The Senate AHCA bill maintains its structure, creating a new system of federal tax credits to help people buy health insurance. But over a few years, it phases out the extra money that the federal government is providing to state governments as an incentive to expand eligibility for Medicaid. Additionally it puts the entire Medicaid program on a budget, resulting in deep cuts to a program that provides health coverage for the poor, elderly, young, and disabled. 

 

The bill also repeals all the tax increases in the Affordable Care Act, meaning that it effectively hands a massive tax cut to the wealthy, and all this is paid for by slashing billions of dollars from Medicaid. Senator McConnell's working group drafted the proposal in secret and is rushing it to a vote without adequate hearings or input from consumers, healthcare providers, ordinary citizens, and other Americans. Analyses of the House version of the bill showed that it would cause millions of Americans to lose their health insurance, and the Senate bill will have a similar impact. 

 

We strongly oppose this bill, and urge Senators to vote against it. In the next few days we will be highlighting the bill's problems and its probably impact on the American people. 

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