Today, 216 House Republicans voted to torpedo the Affordable Care Act and throw 24 million Americans off their health insurance.
Make no mistake, the bill that passed today is structured to harm women, the poor, older Americans and those with pre-existing conditions. It is full of fundamental flaws that will raise premiums and reduce benefits. Everyone from the American Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and the AARP have come out against this bill.
The ACA made it so that people with pre-existing conditions got the same kinds of insurance as everyone else. The amended bill Republicans passed today segregates people with pre-existing conditions into “high-risk pools” that historically result in astronomical premiums, benefit exclusions and annual or lifetime limits on care.
More than 80 percent of people over 55 have pre-existing health conditions. Under the House bill, older consumers could be charged premiums five times higher than younger consumers and would also see reduced tax credits.
The Republicans’ bill ends enhanced federal funding for new Medicaid enrollees after 2019, which would force states to drop their expanded Medicaid coverage – a big problem for the 11 million people currently covered by the ACA Medicaid expansion.
If passed in the Senate, this bill would allow states to scrap coverage for prenatal, maternal and newborn care. The ‘pre-existing condition’ of pregnancy could result in premium hikes of $17,000. Even more shamefully, sexual assault, domestic violence and c-sections could result in denial of coverage under the AHCA.
Put bluntly, this bill is bad for the American people. And it represents a shameful capitulation by my Republican colleagues in Congress to the Trump agenda. Giving tax cuts to the super-rich is an immoral and reprehensible reason to rip healthcare away from millions. It is sadly not hyperbole to say that if this bill passes the Senate, Americans will die as a result.
Our work here isn’t done. Please, keep calling. Keep showing up. We can stop this bill in the Senate if we are persistent enough, loud enough and keep bringing new activists into our movement.
Know that I will be there with you every step of the way to resist this terrible bill and fight for those who will be hurt most if we dismantle the ACA.