New Senate GOP Health Care Eliminates Coverage for Millions of Americans
July 13, 2017
Washington, DC – Senate Republicans on Thursday revealed a new health care bill with revisions intended to help garner sufficient votes to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.
As proposed in the original, the new bill aims to phase out Medicaid expansion and implement deep spending reductions to the program, which provides coverage to over 70 million Americans. It also hurts millions of individuals with pre-existing conditions by increasing premiums and keeping meaningful health care out of reach.
The revised bill also retains a provision to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood for one year, an organization that provides essential health care services to approximately 500,000 Latinas annually.
Changes to the bill include directing $70 billion in state funding to help low-income Americans cover out-of-pocket expenses. This is in addition to $112 billion proposed in the original bill. It also includes an additional $45 billion to combat the opioid epidemic to cover substance abuse treatment, a budget that leading health experts argue falls severely short of the necessary funding to combat the issue.
The new bill includes an amendment to allow insurers offering Obamacare to provide more affordable plans. However, these plans would only provide minimal benefits. The amendment allows consumers to use federal tax credits to purchase these health insurance plans.
In response, LULAC National President Roger C. Rocha, Jr. issued the following statement:
“The Senate GOP’s second attempt at health care reform continues to make deep cuts to Medicaid, which provides coverage for millions across the country, including low-income families, people with disabilities and seniors. Eliminating the program would particularly hurt Latinos, who have the lowest rate of health care coverage in the United States. Medicaid currently covers 18 million Latinos and over 60 percent of low-income Latino children. The new bill does not provide sufficient protections for people with pre-existing conditions and makes it almost impossible for them to afford coverage. Providing a barebones health care plan to individuals who are the most physically and financially vulnerable is cruel and unjust. Our families deserve better. We must pass healthcare reform that protects all Americans. “
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org.