WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirmed what most Americans suspected: the latest version of the “American Health Care Act” (AHCA) is even worse than the first version introduced in the House of Representatives. The nonpartisan office estimates that more than $834 billion would be cut from Medicaid and 23 million people would have their health coverage taken away, endangering their health and opportunities.
NCLR (National Council of La Raza) expressed deep concern about Medicaid cuts that would fundamentally restructure this program that has served as a safety net for more than 50 years. The White House budget proposal released yesterday confirmed the Trump administration’s intent to slash this lifeline for millions of people despite research that shows a majority of Americans oppose decreasing Medicaid funding (74%) and support the program (54%).
“The Congressional Budget Office has confirmed that House Republicans made a horrible bill even worse in their rush to take health insurance away from millions of Americans,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía. “The AHCA would have a devastating impact on communities of every kind. We cannot afford to go back to the days when children were rushed to the emergency room rather than the pediatrician, and when medical bills pushed families into bankruptcy. That’s the vision of America that Donald Trump is fighting so hard to put in place.”
House members who voted for this bill are essentially standing against the health and interests of their own constituents. The Medicaid cuts would jeopardize the health of children, people with disabilities, and seniors—including 18 million Latinos—and eliminate Medicaid expansion, which has helped over 3 million Latinos gain coverage. People with pre-existing health conditions, such as cancer and diabetes, would be vulnerable to high-cost care, and insurance companies could sell skimpier plans that do not cover mental health, maternity care, and other essential health benefits.
Most Americans agree that this bill is bad policy: Only 21 percent of the nation supports the bill, while 56 percent oppose it, according to the independent Quinnipiac University Poll. Latino voters support the current Affordable Care Act (ACA) and want to improve the law, not replace it. More than 4 million Latino adults and over 600,000 Latino children have gained coverage since 2013, many of whom could become uninsured under the new bill.
“It is no surprise that Americans overwhelmingly reject Trumpcare,” said Murguía. “Almost everyone knows someone who has gained coverage through the ACA and has experienced the benefits of health insurance. The CBO score is yet another reminder of what is at stake and why we are in this fight. We must continue organizing, lifting our voices, and applying pressure on our elected officials to protect and defend health coverage for millions of Americans.”