Senate leaders are back at work this week, twisting arms and cutting secret deals to bring their colleagues on board with their health care plan.
It’s not just health insurance for millions of people that’s on the line, it’s also hundreds of thousands of jobs.
If the Senate proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) becomes law, millions of Americans would be at risk of poor coverage, poor health and higher medical costs. According to the Congressional Budget Office, more than 22 million people would lose health insurance. The plan would also hand out billions of dollars in tax cuts to corporations and billionaires while slashing Medicaid funding by $772 billion.
AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders described this bill as “a bouquet of flowers for the wealthiest Americans but a punch in the gut for working families.”
And it gets worse, since health care wouldn’t be the only thing people would lose with this dangerous bill.
A study by George Washington (GW) University found that if the ACA is repealed in full – including the Medicaid expansion and the tax credits to help people afford coverage – nearly 2.6 million jobs would be lost by 2019 and another half million jobs would follow two years later.
Though the Senate bill doesn’t go that far, it’s clear that the proposals to cut Medicaid funding and roll back tax credits would cause hundreds of thousands of job losses. The GW study, found here, predicts that the effects of this unemployment would go beyond the health care industry and sink jobs in construction, real estate, retail trade, finance and insurance, causing a ripple effect the economy can ill afford.
Let’s be clear. The Senate health care bill is a disaster for working families. Coverage would be decreased, public budgets will be strained and hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost, just so politicians can hand a large tax-rebate check to wealthy people and corporations.