Washington, D.C. — Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement on the release of the Republican leadership’s draft of the Senate health care repeal bill.
The Senate version of the American Health Care Act is a moral abomination and, in critical ways, is even more cruel than the House version. After telling us they would start from scratch and write their own bill, Senate Republicans stuck to the House formula: massive cuts to health care for the poor and sick to pay for massive tax cuts for the rich.
The Senate bill makes even deeper cuts to Medicaid over time, resulting in at least 14 million fewer people enrolled in Medicaid, who would instead be uninsured. Millions of people with pre-existing conditions would lose coverage or face cost increases of thousands of dollars because their essential benefits would no longer be covered—especially maternity care, opioid addiction treatment, and expensive drugs for diseases such as cancer. The Senate bill would also end insurance tax credits for many families in the middle class, and combined with lax regulation, this would result in a massive age tax of thousands of dollars for older enrollees. By making only skimpy plans affordable, the Senate bill would increase deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs significantly.
What we’re left with is a string of broken promises: “Insurance for everybody” means many millions uninsured; not touching Medicaid means gutting the program and ending Medicaid as we know it; lower deductibles mean higher deductibles. But this alternative reality would not be the reality of the tens of millions of Americans who would lose coverage from this law. No congressional legislation has done so much to hurt so many people in my lifetime. Any senator who votes for this immoral monstrosity will have to answer to the American people and to their conscience.