HealthBeat

HealthBeat

Reaction to ACA repeal is swift

House Republicans on Monday released their plan for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

The proposal, the American Health Care Act, would keep some pieces of the ACA in place, while make drastic changes to others, such as the Medicaid funding structure and tax credits.

If you want to take a side-by-side look at the ACA and the ACHA, check out the Kaiser Family Foundation’s website, http://kff.org/interactive/proposals-to-replace-the-affordable-care-act.

Once the plan was out, the reactions came rolling in. Here are some of the statements flooding my email inbox:

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.: “Trumpcare falls miles short of the promises the President and his party made to families and communities. It would take coverage away from people across the country, raise patients’ health care costs, put power back in the hands of insurance companies, and double down on attacks on women’s health by defunding Planned Parenthood. Republicans have now made it absolutely clear they are willing to create chaos and leave families sicker and less financially secure just to score political points —and Senate Democrats are going to fight this harmful effort every step of the way.”

Gov. Jay Inslee: “The proposed legislation in Congress to repeal Obamacare is not the direction we should be going to meet our country’s health care needs. It will not improve the health or well-being of millions of people who have gained coverage through the Affordable Care Act. This proposal would kick 600,000 Washingtonians off Medicaid unless the state can come up with $1.3 billion — a burden that would be borne entirely by the state’s taxpayers. The proposal put forth by Congressional Republicans will hurt low-income people, the elderly, people with disabilities and those who need long-term care. This means loss of coverage for people with cancer, diabetes and seniors who are already struggling with costs. These are not scare stories, these are facts. “

Stacy Cross, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette: “The term ‘defunding’ is a misnomer. There is no blank check that Planned Parenthood gets from the federal government, and it’s not in the budget. Instead, the legislation prevents millions of women who rely on Medicaid from accessing the healthcare provider they’ve been depending on for decades.”

Mike Kreidler, Washington State Insurance Commissioner: “Despite keeping some of the most popular protections of the Affordable Care Act, the Republican plan is almost certain to increase the rate of uninsured in Washington and throughout the nation. Many people literally will be faced with life-and-death choices because of the inequities that make up the Republican proposal. President Trump and the Republican Party promised better health care for all at a lower cost to consumers. Now they are touting ‘access’ to coverage. Guaranteeing ‘access’ does not guarantee that people have affordable coverage. It’s just another way of saying that if you don’t have enough money to pay for health coverage, you’re out of luck.”

Dr. Andrew W. Gurman, American Medical Association president: “The AMA supported health system reform legislation in 2010 because it was a significant improvement on the status quo at the time; and although it was imperfect, we continue to embrace its primary goal – making high-quality, affordable health coverage accessible to all Americans. As drafted, the AHCA would result in millions of Americans losing coverage and benefits. By replacing income-based premium subsidies with age-based tax credits, the AHCA will also make coverage more expensive – if not out of reach – for poor and sick Americans. For these reasons, the AMA cannot support the AHCA as it is currently written.”

Margaret A. Murray, CEO of the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (which includes Community Health Plan of Washington): “We are concerned that the bill will erode the Medicaid expansion come the end of 2019; that it will exacerbate coverage instability by requiring states to redetermine Medicaid eligibility more frequently than they do now; and that it will likely increase costs to consumers in the Marketplaces and expand the number of people who live without medical coverage.”

Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc: “This legislation ends Medicaid as we know it. If it is enacted, Medicaid will no longer be a state and federal partnership – the federal government will cap what it provides, leaving the states to pick up the pieces. It will have a dire impact on the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who rely on Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act for their health care, community supports, and as a way to live independently in their communities. … It will turn back the clock on the progress we have made as a society over the last 65 years. It’s morally reprehensible, and our nation cannot let this happen.”

 

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

Comments