After the several failed attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) finally ended in August, those that value access to healthcare celebrated the victory as the end of the Republican plan to strip coverage away from millions of Americans. However, just this last week Senators Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, Dean Heller, and Ron Johnson introduced yet another version of “Trumpcare” that seems to be even worse than those previously rejected. While it may be easy to believe that this new version will also be rejected, it is gaining momentum and needs to be taken seriously by those that believe Americans should have access to quality healthcare.
The new Graham-Cassidy proposal was pitched behind closed doors to the GOP caucus, which means it was another proposal drafted in secret without input from Senate Democrats. The proposal is championed by the idea that by turning over control of health-care markets to the states, the state could develop any system that it wants. Republicans say this includes keeping the ACA if they want. The reality is that the plan cuts funding for the Medicaid expansion and subsidy funding so sharply that it would be zero in a decade. States would not be able to keep the program working as it is with funding being cut so deeply. The result of this would be an estimated loss of coverage for 32 million Americans in the next 10 years.
That huge loss in coverage is only one of the many problems that comes with repealing the ACA with this proposal:
By not including Democrats at any part of this proposal and moving recklessly forward with a partisan effort, the new version of this proposal will eliminate the progress that was made in health reform under the Obama administration and effectively end Medicaid as we know it. It is concerning that once again another proposal is being rushed into the Senate and that instead of moving toward a more bipartisan approach to healthcare, it seems Republicans are moving backwards. We need to stand with these programs that provide support for millions of Americans. The ACA has the opportunity to continue to expand coverage for Americans as it has for 20 million people already. For those who still care about access to healthcare in the U.S., the time for action is now.
Sara Finger, Executive Director