Senate Republicans are teeing up what appears to be one final vote on Obamacare repeal next week.
Notably, health care groups — from the American Medical Association to health insurance companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield — are beginning to release statements about the bill sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-SC). Avalere Health, a health care consulting firm, predicted Wednesday that the bill would reduce federal funding to states by $215 billion through 2026 and by more than $4 trillion over a 20-year period.
Put simply, the bill would redistribute money allotted for Obamacare and Medicaid expansion to states that have resisted Obamacare implementation. Thirty-four states would lose funding they previously received from the federal government for health care, according to Avalere.
Republicans are rushing to pass this bill before the September 30 expiration of its special budget reconciliation status, and the Congressional Budget Office will not have time to give a full report on how many Americans would lose coverage under the bill.
But several health groups have reviews of the bill anyway — and so far, none of them are positive.
Here’s a roundup of what leading health organizations have said about the Graham-Cassidy Bill:
“…the Graham-Cassidy Amendment fails to match this vision and violates the precept of “first do no harm.” Similar to proposals that were considered in the Senate in July, we believe the Graham-Cassidy Amendment would result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance coverage, destabilize health insurance markets, and decrease access to affordable coverage and care.”
“I [Fernando Stein, president, American Academy of Pediatrics] must speak out against this dangerous, ill-conceived policy on behalf of our 66,000 pediatrician, pediatric surgical specialist and pediatric medical sub-specialist members, and stop it from advancing.
“This bill may be disguised under a different name, but it contains the same dangerous policies as the legislation that failed to advance out of the Senate earlier this summer. In fact, Graham-Cassidy goes even further in its attacks on Medicaid.”
“Overall, the Graham/Cassidy/Heller/Johnson bill would increase health care costs for older Americans with an age tax, decrease coverage, and undermine preexisting condition protections. In addition, this bill would jeopardize the ability of older Americans and people with disabilities to stay in their own homes as they age and threaten coverage for individuals in nursing homes.”
“The [Graham-Cassidy] bill contains provisions that would allow states to waive key consumer protections, as well as undermine safeguards for those with pre-existing medical conditions. The legislation reduces funding for many states significantly and would increase uncertainty in the marketplace, making coverage more expensive and jeopardizing Americans’ choice of health plans. Legislation must also ensure adequate funding for Medicaid to protect the most vulnerable.”
“The Graham-Cassidy bill is a serious threat to the health care of millions of Americans. This bill is the worst Obamacare repeal bill yet: Millions of Planned Parenthood patients could lose their health care if the Graham-Cassidy bill were to pass — millions more would lose their coverage through Medicaid, and could lose essentials like maternity care and coverage for prescription drugs. Policy on women’s health care should not be written by a small group of male politicians behind closed doors. Enough is enough. With this latest version of Trumpcare, Americans will pay more and get less, but women will pay the biggest price of all.”
“At Kaiser Permanente, we believe that changes to our nation’s health care laws should increase access to high-quality, affordable care and coverage for as many people as possible. The Graham-Cassidy bill does not meet any of those tests.
“The block grant proposal in the bill would erode coverage of needed medical services and pose major issues for state budgets. Repealing the individual mandate without alternative incentives for enrollment will lead to fewer people enrolled and higher premiums.”
“[The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal] would have real consequences on consumers and patients by further destabilizing the individual market; cutting Medicaid; pulling back on protections for pre-existing conditions; not ending taxes on health insurance premiums and benefits; and potentially allowing government-controlled, single payer health care to grow.”
American Heart Association and 16 other patient and provider groups
“Affordable, adequate care is vital to the patients we represent. This legislation fails to provide Americans with what they need to maintain their health. In fact, much of the proposal just repackages the problematic provisions of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), which we opposed. Fortunately, the BCRA was voted down by Congress earlier this year.”
“During the long debate regarding health care reform, the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals have continually advocated for a number of key principles as fundamental cornerstones of any successful health care system. These principles include offering high-quality, affordable health insurance to all; preserving and fortifying the safety net through Medicaid and other policies; and encouraging innovation in the delivery system, among others.
“The current proposal does not meet these principles and will almost surely lead to dramatic increases in the number of uninsured patients nationwide and put important existing patient protections at risk. Additionally, a proposal like this—a complete overhaul of the health care system—should be fully and adequately examined by the Congressional Budget Office before it is brought to a vote.”
Senators Cassidy and Graham’s proposal, like the ACA repeal proposals before it, would put the health and lives of tens of thousands of persons living with HIV at risk. We appeal once more to our senators to stop once and for all efforts to repeal the ACA and turn to improving rather than dismantling critical health coverage reforms.
“The proposed changes to Medicaid outlined in the Graham-Cassidy Amendment could have a drastic impact on this vulnerable population given that more than 1 in 4 seniors with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are currently on Medicaid. The Alzheimer’s Association and AIM are also alarmed by the potential impact of this legislation on Americans living with pre-existing conditions, including the 200,000 Americans living with younger-onset Alzheimer’s.”
“Our analysis indicates the bill could allow insurers to:
- Charge cancer patients and survivors far higher rates to make coverage unaffordable
- Eliminate coverage for cancer care in their health plans
- Re-institute arbitrary caps on annual and lifetime coverage”