AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders issued the following statement on the new Congressional Budget Office analysis of the American Health Care Act, which passed the U.S. House:
“The new Congressional Budget Office analysis confirms what we already knew — and then some. The health care bill currently before Congress is getting worse, not better. The CBO score concludes that the American Health Care Act would cause 23 million people to lose their health coverage; and on average, those with coverage would have skimpier benefits and higher out-of-pocket costs. The changes made to secure more House Republican votes earlier this month have made the bill more draconian and would make the health care system more cruel and chaotic.
“If this bill became law, it would exact a devastating human cost and cause untold suffering. In addition to throwing 23 million off the insurance rolls, it would strip protections for those with pre-existing conditions; re-impose annual and lifetime limits; and squeeze state budgets, leading to cuts in public services – all while gift-wrapping a tax giveaway for millionaires and big corporations.
“The legislation also makes staggering cuts to Medicaid — more than $800 billion over 10 years. Half of all Medicaid recipients are children, and one in five Americans, including seniors, pregnant mothers, and people with disabilities, depend on this program for everything from immunizations to in-home and nursing home care. Any legislation that degrades the health care of our most vulnerable people in order to give more handouts to the wealthy fails the moral decency test.
“The ball remains in the Senate’s court. They have a chance — and an obligation — to act on the wishes of an overwhelming majority of Americans by stopping this dangerous legislation.”