American Bridge Statement on Republicans’ Even More Extreme Trumpcare Bill

Two weeks ago Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell was forced to abandon his plans for a Trumpcare vote before July 4th because he didn’t have the votes to pass his reckless bill. Now, reports indicate he managed to make the bill worse.  McConnell’s updated plan is even more conservative and more devastating for families; it maintains Trumpcare’s worst provisions and adds changes that force Americans with preexisting conditions into prohibitively expensive plans that threaten a return to the days when anyone who gets sick could go bankrupt at a moment’s notice.

The reboot comes in the aftermath of public backlash to the first bill, which was written behind closed doors with lobbyists, that would have deprived 22 million Americans of their health insurance, ended Medicaid as we know it, and directly attacked victims of the opioid addiction epidemic that is hurting families across the United States, all to STILL give new tax breaks to the rich.  As an indication of how painful the Trumpcare bill would be for the American people, more Republican Senators left the country during the July 4th recess than held town halls.

American Bridge President Jessica Mackler released the following reaction to the updated legislation:

“McConnell’s new plan is even more extreme than the first and would devastate the American middle class and the working poor. Millions would lose their health insurance as  healthcare costs skyrocket, Medicaid would be gutted, those struggling with addiction would be betrayed, and Americans suffering from preexisting conditions like Alzheimer’s face a choice between lifesaving treatment or avoiding financial ruin.

“The vast majority of Americans – and half of Donald Trump’s own supporters – want a bipartisan solution that improves the Affordable Care Act, and Senator McConnell himself has admitted that such an approach would work, but for reasons unknown, Republicans continue to ignore the will of the public. They’re desperately trying to force Trumpcare down our throats so they can cut taxes for the rich at any cost to families.

“This is the moment of truth for Republican Senators like Dean Heller, Rob Portman, and Shelly Moore Capito. They should vote to put the country first and against this disastrous legislation, and must announce their opposition immediately. If they don’t they’re going to face the fury of their constituents at the ballot box.”

The Truth About This Trumpcare Plan
AMERICANS WITH PREEXISTING CONDITIONS 
Kaiser Family Foundation, 7/11/2017: “The ACA-compliant plans would effectively become a high-risk pool, attracting enrollees when they need costly health benefits – such as maternity care, or drugs to treat cancer or HIV, or therapies to treat mental health and substance abuse disorders – and those with pre-existing conditions who are turned down by non-compliant plans or charged high premiums based on their health.”
OPIOID ADDICTION

Harvard Medical School Professor of Health Economics Richard G. Frank, 6/20/2017: “Several Republican Senators seek to add $45 billion over 10 years to compensate for the lost support for mental health and substance use disorder treatment that would result by enacting the House-passed AHCA. Unfortunately, their proposal falls far short of the resources needed to fight this crisis. In fact, it will cost more than $183 billion over ten years to cover the lost coverage opportunities caused by the AHCA and to fight the nation’s opioid epidemic.”

  • “Where did the $45 billion come from? The $45 billion appears to be based on estimates of 2016 spending for behavioral health care made by Sherry Glied and me….This estimate only counts a sliver of the health care needs for people with substance use disorders.”
Politico, 6/29/2017: “‘That’s like spitting in the ocean,​’ Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich said of spending money on opioids without giving people ongoing health care.​”
Axios, 6/29/2017: “From an administration source: ‘I think we’re going to pass this. I really think they’ll bribe off the moderates with opioid money and then actually move policy to shore up Mike Lee and Ted Cruz….'”
MEDICAID 
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/6/2017: “The Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) would radically restructure Medicaid financing and effectively end the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion, cutting federal Medicaid funding by $772 billion over ten years and reducing enrollment by 15 million people by 2026.  The bill’s other Medicaid changes would cut another $29 billion over ten years.  Just like the House-passed bill, the BCRA would have a devastating effect on over 70 million people who rely on Medicaid, including over 30 million children and millions of seniors, people with disabilities, pregnant women, and low-income adults.”