For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 4, 2017
Below is a statement from Margarida Jorge and Ethan Rome, co-directors of Health Care for America Now (HCAN), on the House vote to pass the American Health Care Act:
“This vote was cynical partisan politics at its worst. For no other reason than being able to say they fulfilled a campaign promise, the Republicans adopted a bill that would do unthinkable damage to America’s families. And they did so by pretending to address fundamental flaws with the legislation that will hurt the 129,000 million people in this country with pre-existing conditions. The public will not be fooled by the last-minute changes designed to make this bill look better than it is.
“Today, House Republicans voted to take health care away from at least 24 million people, abandon Americans with pre-existing conditions, slash Medicaid, and raise health care costs for all families to give over $600 billion in tax breaks to the very wealthy and the big insurance and drug companies.
“This bill would take us backward and put the insurance companies back in charge of our health care again. Republicans adopted an amendment that strips the Essential Health Benefits provision, which requires insurers to cover basic health benefits like prescription drugs, preventive services, and maternity care – even doctor and hospital care. It lets insurers charge people with pre-existing conditions whatever they want. It allows women to be charged more than men. It allows insurance companies to once again have lifetime and annual coverage caps that threaten millions of families with medical bankruptcy. This is second rate health care for a first-rate country.
“The President and the Republicans said their proposal would cover everybody and reduce costs. Instead, it takes health care away from at least 24 million Americans, raises costs, guts consumer protections from insurance company abuses, leaves Americans with pre-existing conditions at the whim of insurance companies, and defunds Planned Parenthood. The Republican repeal bill doesn’t improve America’s health care – it wrecks it. The Senate should reject this bill.”
Health Care for America Now (HCAN) is the national grassroots coalition that ran a $60 million five-and-a-half year campaign from 2008-2013 to pass, protect, and promote the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and protect Medicare and Medicaid. HCAN has come back together to fight the Republicans’ all-out effort to take away America’s health care and put people at the mercy of the health insurance companies again.