As you know, House Republicans introduced their “repeal and replace” health care bill, entitled the American Health Care Act (AHCA), in March of 2017. The AHCA would allow insurers to charge older customers up to five times more than younger customers, while also charging a 30% penalty to any person who has a lapse in health coverage, including people with preexisting conditions. It will also shorten the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by three years and eliminates the Affordable Care Act (ACA) premium tax credits that millions of Americans depend on to pay for health coverage.
The AHCA also greatly reduces funding for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, reducing resources for some of our society’s most vulnerable members. President Obama’s health care law expanded Medicaid and allowed more than 14.5 million people to get health insurance. The Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation estimate that “in 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under the legislation than under current law” increasing to 21 million uninsured in 2020 and then to 24 million uninsured in 2026.
Like you, I believe that healthcare is a vital human right. This bill benefits the rich while making it more difficult for seniors and low-income Americans to get the quality healthcare they need. It gives huge tax cuts to insurance companies and the super-rich, while neglecting those members of society who require the most assistance. As if these issues were not enough, the AHCA also cuts funding for Planned Parenthood without offering a replacement for the vital services Planned Parenthood provides, which would cause millions of women to go without cancer screenings, prenatal services, and family planning options. Subsequently, healthcare premiums will go up and millions of Americans will lose coverage. This is completely unacceptable. Unfortunately, this legislation was passed by the House of Representatives by a margin of 217-213 on May 4, 2017 with no Democratic support. Trumpcare is currently being considered by the Senate. Please know I will continue to fight against this irresponsible, dangerous legislation should it be passed by the Senate and comeback to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me about access to healthcare. Your thoughts and opinions on this issue are of great value. Please be sure to sign up for my e-newsletter so we can stay in touch about the issues most important to you. Just visit my website at www.cicilline.house.gov
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