Magazine article The Nation's Health

APHA: ACA Repeal Disastrous for Health

Magazine article The Nation's Health

APHA: ACA Repeal Disastrous for Health

Article excerpt

As legislators fought over repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, APHA has been a vocal opponent of all the ways the proposed bills could harm health.

On June 22, APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, issued a statement opposing the Better Care Reconciliation Act, the Senate's repeal-and-replace attempt to oust the ACA. Calling the bill "just as bad" as the House version passed earlier in the month, Benjamin said millions of Americans would lose their health coverage under the proposed plan, devastating Medicaid, which 69 million people use for critical health care needs. The plan also would eliminate major sources of federal funding for Planned Parenthood and eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which was developed as part of the ACA.

"The process by which the Senate has arrived at this bill amounts to legislative malpractice," Benjamin said. "The Senate is supposed to be our great deliberative body. Instead, Senate leaders created a plan in secret with no hearings, no debate and no public input. It makes no sense to cut investments in America's health in order to cut taxes for Americans with wealth."

On June 26, the Congressional Budget Office released its assessment of the Senate plan, confirming that 15 million Americans next year and 22 million by 2026 would lose health insurance if it were enacted. In a statement responding to the score, Benjamin said it showed that the Senate bill "will add millions more people to the rolls of the uninsured, jeopardize our chance to build a healthier America and pose a threat to every American community. …

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