By Steven Lopez, Manager, Health Policy Project, NCLR
Yesterday was a tough day. It’s okay to be angry. We are, too.
The 217-213 vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replace it with the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is certainly a hard pill to swallow for those of us who believe that more children and families, not fewer, should have the opportunity for quality, affordable, and accessible health care.
We’re not going to sugarcoat it: what House Republicans passed yesterday puts lives in jeopardy.
It puts in jeopardy the peace of mind of parents who—thanks to the ACA—can take their kids to a pediatrician instead of the emergency room. It puts in jeopardy the working families who are protected from debt and bankruptcy in the event of a medical emergency under the ACA. It puts in jeopardy the life of the cancer survivor who knows she is here today because insurance companies could no longer shut her out under the ACA.
By David Thomsen, Policy Analyst, Health Policy Project, NCLR
All Americans should have the opportunity and ability to achieve good health. While we have made significant progress towards achieving this goal, we know that this progress has been uneven for certain communities. April is National Minority Health Month, and as it comes to a close, we want to take the opportunity to shine a light on the gains we have made, while addressing the remaining work necessary to reduce the health inequities facing our country. While we have a long way to go to reach this goal, many communities—including Latinos—have made significant progress under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Between 2013, when key provisions of the ACA came into effect, and 2015:
- More than four million Latino adults and 600,000 children gained coverage.
- The overall Latino uninsured rate declined from one in four in 2013 to one in six in 2015.
- The uninsured rate for Latino children experienced the largest two-year decline on record (11.5% to 7.5%).
“Save the ACA”
Rally in Support of the Affordable Care Act, at The White House, Washington, DC USA, see https://www.facebook.com/events/1425620610816402/
Thanks to your efforts, and the efforts of millions of Americans, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still the law of the land. However, this fight is not over. Our health and the health of our community remains under attack.
Last month, the latest effort to repeal the ACA failed. If passed, the repeal bill, named the American Health Care Act (AHCA), would cause 24 million Americans to lose health coverage and cut Medicaid by around $800 billion over 10 years. However, rather than move on from a bill that only 17 percent of Americans support, Members of Congress want to revive this bad bill, and make it even worse.
The Latino community has made historic gains since passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and today those gains have been protected when House Republicans abruptly pulled their health care plan from the House floor minutes before members were supposed to cast their votes.
We thank those members of Congress who stood against a bill that would have gutted our nation’s health insurance system and forced millions of Americans to lose coverage. Between 2013 and 2015, more than four million Latino adults and 600,000 children have obtained coverage. While today was a victory for supporters of the Affordable Care Act, we also caution against future threats.
“The people spoke out and won the day, but it is unlikely the fight is over,” said Janet Murguia, NCLR President and CEO. “We are committed to continue pushing for policies that benefit the health and well-being of our children and families.”
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), over four million Latino adults and 600,000 Latino children have gained health coverage. But beyond these important gains, the ACA does something else.
The ACA ensures that every health plan covers at least these 10 “essential health benefits”:
- Doctors’ visits
- Prescription drugs
- Mental health and addiction treatment services
- Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
- Laboratory services
- Preventive care, wellness services, and chronic disease management
- Pediatric services, including oral and vision care for children