— NCCS (@CancerAdvocacy) June 9, 2017
As we reported last week, moderate Republicans in the Senate seem to be caving on their earlier promises to reject any bill that slashes Medicaid funding. Senators Collins and Capito have reportedly stated they would consider a “phasing out” of the Medicaid expansion program.
However, lengthening the timeframe for ending the program does nothing to help the millions of people who depend on Medicaid for health insurance, including low-income, disabled, and elderly Americans. Because the Senate can only lose two votes on the AHCA, each Senator is critical and it is extremely concerning to hear moderate members negotiate away their constituents’ access to health care.
To increase confusion around the American Health Care Act (AHCA), President Trump this week changed his analysis of the House passed bill from being “incredibly well-crafted” to now being, “Mean, mean, mean,” as the Senate considers the legislation. Earlier this year, Trump said his health care replacement would be “great” and “would cover everyone.” The AHCA is a far cry from providing coverage for everyone. In fact, it would take health insurance away from millions and cause costs to go up for our most vulnerable communities.
Adding to the growing list of negative analyses of the AHCA, the following reports and estimates were released this week:
- The Center for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) independent actuary this week released a report that found the bill would result in 13 million fewer insured, a 61% increase in cost sharing (including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance), and an increase of $221 billion in out-of-pocket health costs.
- An analysis by the Center for American Progress showed that “as many as 27 million Americans could face annual limits on their coverage, and 20 million could be hit with lifetime limits.”
- An analysis by The Commonwealth Fund estimates that nearly one million jobs will be lost if the AHCA is implemented, with most coming from the health care sector. The hardest hit states would be those that expanded Medicaid.
- The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that people of all ages will lose coverage under the AHCA, but strikingly, the uninsured rate for children will increase by 50 percent.
- Finally, the American Medical Association (AMA) came out against the AHCA saying the bill’s Medicaid caps are a “disaster” and would hurt their patients.
Not only is the AHCA a bad bill, it’s also extremely unpopular with the public. The New York Times reported this week on their analysis of each states’ perception of the bill and found that not a single state favors the AHCA.
The question is, will Republican senators vote yes on a bill this harmful and this unpopular?