House Health Care Bill Halted and Health Coverage Gains Protected for Now

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.”

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Gutting Essential Health Benefits Hurts All of Us

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”:

  • Hospitalizations
  • 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

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The Affordable Care Act is Under Attack

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. Seven years later, over four million Latino adults have gained health coverage. The fact that more Latinos are covered than ever before is something to celebrate, maintain, and build upon. However, not everyone feels that more people having quality, affordable health care is worth celebrating. Today, the House GOP Leadership is expected to hold a vote to gut the ACA and replace it with their proposal that would kick millions of children, seniors, and families off their insurance.

To mark the seventh anniversary of the ACA, we are highlighting five aspects of the law that benefit the Latino community, plus two aspects of the House GOP proposal that would harm Latino families and children.

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The House Health Care Plan: Bad Medicine for Children and Families

By Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR

Some simple ways to evaluate the new congressional health care plan: when children are covered, they are healthier and do better in school. If they stay healthy, they will have more opportunities as adults. When families are covered, they are better protected from crippling medical debt and homelessness. When more people are covered, our country’s productivity and economic well-being are secured.

The “American Health Care Act” that House congressional leaders proposed last week will drop millions of children and working families from their Medicaid programs. It dismantles health care as we know it, trading in coverage of our nation’s most vulnerable populations for a financial windfall benefiting the wealthy few. And in an analysis released just this week, the Congressional Budget Office gave us our clearest picture yet of the harm the GOP proposal would inflict. The CBO estimates that 14 million people would lose coverage by 2018, 24 million by 2026, and federal Medicaid spending would be reduced by $880 billion over the next 10 years. In short, the historic coverage gains we’ve made over the past few years would be wiped away.

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The Republican Health Care Plan is a Threat to American Families

“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/

The GOP plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will not make America great again. NCLR has denounced the legislation, dubbed the “American Health Care Act”, which was finally unveiled this week.

The Republican plan would take health coverage away from millions of American families and children, including millions of Latinos, by reducing tax credits to buy affordable plans and by stopping the Medicaid expansion. Further, we are quite alarmed at the plan’s provision to eliminate federal funding for Medicaid coverage for 74 million low-income Americans. This would be a first for the program since it was established in 1965, and would end Medicaid as we know it.

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