After months of speculation, Senate leaders finally released their health care plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Now we know that we were right all along about the intentions behind this bill – to lay the groundwork for huge tax cuts for the wealthy while putting millions of American lives at risk.
In his response to the bill, AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders said Thursday, “Senators who want to improve health care for American families – and not just give tax handouts to CEOs and the super wealthy – must vote NO on this bill.”
Among other things, the new bill would:
- Slash Medicaid funding to states, causing millions of vulnerable Americans to lose coverage and resulting in deep cuts to state budgets;
- Give tax handouts to the ultra-wealthy and insurance companies, creating deficits of millions of dollars;
- Impose an “age tax” that would skyrocket the cost of health care plans sold to older Americans who don’t yet qualify for Medicare;
- Cuts nearly all funding to treat opioid addiction, despite the rapidly-escalating crisis;
- Allow insurance companies to sell plans that place annual and lifetime caps on coverage, which would raise out-of-pocket costs for people who get insurance through their jobs;
- Allow states to opt out of mandating Essential Health Benefits, or EHBs, which cover prescription drugs, hospitalization, maternity leave and more.
Watch this AFSCME explainer video to understand how repealing EHBs would affect medical costs: