Raid of Medicare, cuts to Medicaid among the most problematic parts of the AHCA
The following statement was issued by Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in response to the House vote today to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with the American Health Care Act.
“Retirees and older Americans who are not yet eligible for Medicare are simply appalled by today’s American Health Care Act vote.
“This bill decimates Medicaid, with more than $800 billion in cuts. Medicaid pays for the nursing home care of millions of seniors and health care for people with disabilities. The $8 billion that the GOP added to their plan at the last minute is a mere drop in the bucket compared to their cuts.
“It also robs the Medicare Trust Fund to pay for tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires. That transfer of wealth from the sick to the wealthy is unconscionable.
“The House leadership’s decision to rush the floor action means that lawmakers voted on the bill without even obtaining updated figures from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
“CBO estimated that the original bill would leave 24 million more Americans without health insurance after a decade, due to repeal of the subsidies and the rollback of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion in states that adopted it. We cannot rule out the possibility that more than 24 million people would lose coverage under this version of the bill.
“Despite the wheeling and dealing and vote trading, the GOP repeal bill still drops the coverage guarantee for people with pre-existing conditions, strips coverage from millions and drives up costs for millions more.
“Among people ages 55 to 64, 84 percent had at least one pre-existing condition in 2014. That has not changed since the last vote.
“It is difficult to say what the cruelest aspect of this vote is, but raiding Medicare and cutting Medicaid surely remain at the top of the list.”