House Republican Health Care Bill a Dangerous Step in the Wrong Direction, Would Harm Women and Children While Shifting Costs onto Hard Working Families
March 7, 2017
Statement from Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director and CEO of MomsRising.org, a national online and on-the-ground organization of more than 1 million mothers and their families, on House Republican’s Affordable Care Act replacement plan
“The House Republican plan to obliterate the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a plan that would make health insurance less affordable, less accessible, and less comprehensive is a dangerous step in the wrong direction. This bill would create a health care crisis by throwing millions of people off of their insurance. If it is enacted, fewer people would be covered and those who do have insurance would have weaker protections and face significantly higher costs. It is now clear why House Republicans tried to hide this bill for so long. Congress must reject it immediately.
“The American Health Care Act makes a mockery of every campaign promise Donald Trump made about health care. It sets the stage for deep, punitive, permanent cuts to Medicaid in just a few years, which would cause grave harm resulting in rationing care for some of the most vulnerable people in our country: Black, Latinx, Asian, Native American, LGBTQ+, and low-income families; as well as pregnant women, people with disabilities, rural communities, and the elderly. The Republican plan would allow insurance companies to raise premiums and out-of-pocket costs, especially for seniors. The only winners would be the wealthy, and the losers, as too often is the case, would be women, communities of color, and all those who struggle to pay for health coverage and care.
“The GOP plan would put coverage out of reach for millions of families. It undermines one of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) greatest achievements—granting protection to those with pre-existing conditions—by forcing those with any significant gap in their insurance coverage to pay hefty penalties. Experts agree, this could lead to a toxic health care environment in which only those who are sick and can afford coverage get the health care they need.
“It would be devastating for people like MomsRising member Helena of Plantation, FL, who is a self-employed, single mother of three. Helena could not afford health insurance but, once the ACA was implemented, she applied and was approved, with her kids, for Medicaid coverage. But because Florida didn't participate in the Medicaid expansion, she was ‘kicked off’ in 2016. Luckily, she says, ‘I was able to get coverage under the ACA, and qualified for the tax credit, so I'm still insured. I worry that my insurance will be taken away, and that my kids will no longer be covered.’
“Further harming the health of women and families, the American Health Care Act would defund Planned Parenthood, cutting off health care—including birth control, cancer screenings and other essential health services—for millions of women who have no other health care provider.
“Simply put, this legislation would mean America’s moms and families pay more for less comprehensive coverage, putting our families’ and country’s economic security at risk.
“MomsRising members have put pressure on Congress since January to reject a repeal of the ACA. Last month, our members delivered books with hundreds of stories from people who rely on the ACA, Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP to congressional offices in Washington D.C. and across the country to educate lawmakers about the impact of those programs. Thousands more have sent letters and made phone calls urging representatives to protect our health care coverage. We will work tirelessly to ensure that the American Health Care Act does not become law. Every lawmaker who supports it will have to answer to constituents.”