Issue Report ● Health Carefacebooktwitterbirdemail
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September 26, 2017

Senate Republicans are making a last-ditch attempt to ram their latest TrumpCare bill through the Senate, holding only a single hearing on a bill released hours before and without a full Congressional Budget Office score. The bill faces bipartisan opposition despite the fact that Senate GOP leaders are trying to cut deals with certain Senators to win them over. In addition, a wide range of stakeholders, including providers, insurers, and patient and consumer advocates oppose the bill. As opposition grows, it is time for Republicans to abandon TrumpCare and work with Democrats to improve the Affordable Care Act.

The Congressional Budget Office has not had sufficient time to conduct a full analysis of the most recent TrumpCare bill—but here is a look at their preliminary analysis:

  • The latest version of TrumpCare would cause “market disruptions and other implementation problems”
  • Millions of Americans would lose health care, with a particularly significant drop off in 2020
  • The bill cuts $230 billion in funding to help low- and middle-income Americans afford health coverage, including cuts to Medicaid and exchange subsidies

S&P Global Ratings has outlined the damaging effects this bill would have on the American economy:

  • Under TrumpCare, $240 billion in economic activity would be lost by 2027;
  • The bill would cost our economy 580,000 jobs;
  • It would also mean that GDP would remain “stuck in low gear of around 2 [percent] at best in the next decade.”

Polling from several news outlets shows that Americans do not support TrumpCare. Instead, Americans want to see bipartisan solutions to improve the Affordable Care Act:

CBS News Poll: “Most Americans -- 52 percent -- disapprove of the Graham-Cassidy health care bill… Only 20 percent of those polled said they approved of the Republican legislation aimed at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Obama.” [9/25/17]

Washington Post- ABC News Poll: “…More than half of Americans prefer Obamacare (56 percent) to the latest GOP plan.” [9/22/17]

Washington Examiner Poll: “Less than a quarter of registered voters said they support Senate Republicans' most recent effort to overhaul Obamacare.” [9/21/17]

Senate Republicans have voiced opposition to various iterations of the legislation put forward over the last few days, citing concerns with both substance and process:

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX): “Right now, they don’t have my vote, and I don’t think they have Mike Lee’s, either…” [Washington Times, 9/24/17]

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME): “Sweeping reforms to our health care system and to Medicaid can’t be done well in a compressed time frame, especially when the actual bill is a moving target. Today, we find out that there is now a fourth version of the Graham-Cassidy proposal, which is as deeply flawed as the previous iterations. The fact that a new version of this bill was released the very week we are supposed to vote compounds the problem.” [Statement, 9/25/17]

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY): “This is a bad idea.” [NBC’s Meet the Press, 9/24/17]

Senator John McCain (R-AZ): “I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried. Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it. Without a full CBO score, which won’t be available by the end of the month, we won’t have reliable answers to any of those questions.” [Statement, 9/25/17]

In addition to providers, insurers, and patient and consumer advocates, all 50 Medicaid Directors oppose TrumpCare. In a statement from the National Association of Medicaid Directors, they announced universal opposition to the bill. From their letter:

“[TrumpCare] would undermine these efforts in many states and fail to deliver on our collective goal of an improved health care system.”

“Any effort of this magnitude needs thorough discussion, examination and analysis, and should not be rushed through without proper deliberation. The legislative proposal would not even have a full CBO score until after its scheduled passage, which should be the bare minimum required for beginning consideration. With only a few legislative days left for the entire process to conclude, there clearly is not sufficient time for policymakers, Governors, Medicaid Directors, or other critical stakeholders to engage in the thoughtful deliberation necessary to ensure successful long-term reforms.”

It is time for Republicans to abandon their repeal efforts and work with Democrats to improve the Affordable Care Act.

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