Contact:
Simona Combi, 202-265-5111, simona@globalpolicysolutions.org

Washington, D.C., May 4, 2017—Today, House Republicans passed a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. In response, Dr. Maya Rockeymoore, President and CEO of the Center for Global Policy Solutions, released the following statement:

Americans of all genders, races, religions, and incomes have come to rely on the protections that the Affordable Care Act provides them. The House Republicans’ replacement plan falls short on providing the same protections and chips away at key provisions that have contributed to increased access to health insurance for many. The CBO estimates that the legislation will increase the number of people who are uninsured by 24 million in 2026.

The bill takes away the promise of affordable health care for many vulnerable American citizens. Gone would be the guarantees that women could not be charged higher premiums than men, that the working poor — those who make too much for Medicaid yet too little for traditional insurance policies — would have access to affordable plans. Blacks make up 27 percent (1.5 million people) and Hispanics make up 21 percent (1.2 million people) of individuals in this Medicaid gap. The proposed legislation also fundamentally changes Medicaid’s financing structure to a per capita cap, resulting in an estimated $880 billion reduction in federal Medicaid spending from 2017 to 2026.

Before the ACA was enacted, people of color were much more likely to be uninsured than whites. Obamacare has reduced these disparities and has essentially eliminated the difference between the uninsured rates of Asian Americans and whites, and between black and white children.

The American Health Care Act gives individual states unprecedented control over quality, cost, and access to health care. With state control, benefits such as hospitalization, maternity care, and mental health services could disappear for Americans based on where they live. If states remove these benefits, coverage of such services would either be unavailable or extremely expensive.

Women’s health would also be at the will of states.  If a state decides to remove maternity benefits from health plan requirements, that is a cost that would fall solely on women. Health organizations that provide abortions, such as Planned Parenthood, would be ineligible for Medicaid reimbursements or federal family planning grants even though they provide routine, non abortion-related medical care to millions of women. These extra costs could result in women paying a higher-cost for health coverage than their male counterparts, which would contribute to the gender wealth gap.

The Congressional Budget Office has yet to fully evaluate the potential impact of the revised bill, yet Republicans are pushing ahead in an attempt to give another undeserved tax cut to the wealthy. I encourage every American to call their Congressional representatives to tell them that everyone deserves access to healthcare. This replacement plan is alarmingly inadequate for women, minorities, and lower-income Americans. Americans deserve better than what the House GOP is offering. We deserve to live.

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Founded on the principle that a more inclusive nation is a stronger, more prosperous one, the Center for Global Policy Solutions (CGPS) is a 501(c)(3) that equips businesses and organizations with the tools to effect change, driving society toward inclusion. Drawing on our unique blend of policy and advocacy expertise, CGPS develops strategies, research, programs, policies, and communications that address disparities in health, education, and economic security by race/ethnicity, place, gender, and age.