Another Version of the Senate Health Bill Stalls But Threat to California’s Care Not Over

With the announcement today that more Senators are opposed to taking up the current GOP health bill, the "Better Care Reconciliation Act" that undoes health coverage for over 22 million Americans, consumer and health advocates cautioned that the #Fight4OurHealth isn't over.
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For immediate release: Monday, July 17, 2017

For more information, contact:
Anthony Wright, executive director, Health Access California, 916-870-4782 (cell)
Rachel Linn-Gish, communications director, Health Access California, 916-532-2128 (cell)

ANOTHER VERSION OF THE SENATE HEALTH BILL STALLS BUT THREAT TO CALIFORNIA’S CARE NOT OVER

  • Two More Senators Defect from Bill That Would Result in 22 Million MORE Uninsured Nationally; Likely 4-5 Million in California
  • Senate Bill Also Cuts Medicaid by 26% or $772 Billion–But Actually Has 35% Cuts in 2nd Decade, Likely More than $30B/Year to Medi-Cal
  • Bill Would Make Many Pay Much More For Less Coverage, Shifting Many in Covered California and Medi-Cal to $7,000 Deductible Plans
  • Upon Getting News, Health Access’ Sacramento Office Continues Its Phonebank Night, Knowing the Fight Isn’t Over

SACRAMENTO, CA – With the announcement today that more Senators are opposed to taking up the current GOP health bill, the “Better Care Reconciliation Act” that undoes health coverage for over 22 million Americans, consumer and health advocates cautioned that the #Fight4OurHealth isn’t over. Revised versions of the bill, or efforts during the debate around the federal budget or tax cuts, would revive proposals that could lead to millions more uninsured, and more paying much more for far less coverage.

Here is a comment by Anthony Wright, executive director, Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition:

“While we are relieved more Senators have announced their opposition to the health bill, Californians should continue to be concerned about additional attempts to revive this awful legislation. It’s scary that we continue to be one vote away from health care armageddon and creating 22 million more uninsured Americans. This so-called health care bill should not have gotten this far, given it was opposed by patient, doctor, hospital, senior, and consumer groups, and had not received a single hearing in the Senate. In our state, the BCRA’s passage would have meant at least 4-5 million more Californians becoming uninsured, living sicker, dying younger, and being one emergency away from financial ruin.”

“The people-powered pressure against this proposal can’t let up as President Trump and Congressional leaders still seek to cut and cap Medicaid and ACA coverage for millions. We fear that Senators might switch to support with minor changes to the bill, like California’s own Representative Denham did in the House, or that they attempt these repeals and rollbacks through the federal budget or tax giveaway legislation. We found out about the additional Senate opposition while running a phonebank against this bill–and our concern means we are continuing to make calls.”

The non-partisan and independent Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) found that BCRA will result in 15 million Americans losing coverage in 2018, 19 million by 2020, and 22 million by 2026. The proposal will also cut overall Medicaid funding by $772 billion (a 26% reduction) over the next decade by eliminating the Medicaid expansion and capping the Medicaid program and ending the matching guarantee that has been in place for over 50 years. 

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