By David Thomsen, Policy Analyst, Health Policy Project, NCLR
Last week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirmed what many advocates and experts feared—the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is bad news for Americans.
The CBO’s latest estimate on the real-world effect of the AHCA finds that 23 million Americans would lose their health coverage by 2026. This estimate is due in large part because this bill decimates Medicaid, which helps children, seniors, and the disabled access health coverage. These cuts total an almost incomprehensible $834 billion and would force states to cut Medicaid benefits, cut enrollment in the program, or both. No state’s Medicaid program would be spared, and access to health care would be jeopardized for millions of people.
It may be hard to believe, but the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score on the Republican-passed “American Health Care Act” has only been out for one week. While other news items continue to dominate the news coverage, it’s vital that you understand just how important the CBO score is to understanding what’s in the GOP bill that would repeal and repeal the Affordable Care Act.
To help digest all the information surrounding the CBO score and the the health care debate, we checked in with the associate director of NCLR’s Policy Analysis Center, Samantha Poppe during a Facebook Live event. She helps us break down what the CBO is, what the score means, and what we can glean from it in order to understand the gravity of the bill now being considered by the Senate.
The American Health Care Act could result in 23 million Americans left without health coverage by 2026
Today the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirmed what most Americans suspected: the latest version of the “American Health Care Act” (AHCA) is even worse than the first version introduced in the House of Representatives. The nonpartisan office estimates that more than $834 billion would be cut from Medicaid and 23 million people would have their health coverage taken away, endangering their health and opportunities.
We are deeply concerned about Medicaid cuts that would fundamentally restructure this program that has served as a safety net for more than 50 years. The White House budget proposal released yesterday confirmed the Trump administration’s intent to slash this lifeline for millions of people despite research that shows a majority of Americans oppose decreasing Medicaid funding (74 percent) and support the program (54 percent).
As we close National Women’s Health Week, we recognize the tireless contributions women have made in the overall health and well-being of our country. These contributions not only are reflective in the local community-based health programs and services that our Affiliate Network of community-based organizations and community health centers lead, but also in the leadership roles that they represent both regionally and nationally.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we have seen major gains in access to affordable, quality, and equitable health care for women and children. Prior to the ACA, 36 percent of Latinas ages 15–44 were uninsured. In two years, that rate dropped to 25 percent. The ACA has provided millions of previously uninsured Latinas access to essential health care services and coverage. Key preventive and sexual health services include breast and cervical cancer screenings, immunizations, breastfeeding counseling and support, domestic violence screening and support, and prenatal screenings, including gestational diabetes screening for women at high risk and folic acid supplements, that are offered at no additional cost.
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.