Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Thursday, May 4, 2017, in response to the U.S. House’s passage of the American Health Care Act:
“Today’s narrow U.S. House vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act in exchange for a giant tax cut for the wealthiest Americans sends a harsh message to Alabamians, but it’s not the final word. Unless the Senate rejects it, this bill would force harmful cuts to Medicaid, which covers more than 1 million children, low-income seniors, pregnant women and people with disabilities across Alabama. For everyone else, the bill would turn back the clock to a time when insurers could discriminate against people who got sick and could deny coverage for life-saving treatments by imposing annual and lifetime benefit caps.
“The Affordable Care Act has helped millions of people and saved thousands of lives across Alabama. Nearly 200,000 Alabamians have signed up for insurance through the ACA. More than 2 million Alabamians have pre-existing conditions that would have made it hard or impossible for them to get full coverage before the ACA lifted coverage caps and guaranteed their access to insurance. And the ACA has significantly reduced the number of uninsured young Alabamians by allowing 35,000 of them to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26.
“Instead of improving the current law with sensible, targeted changes, the House has voted to reverse the ACA’s gains and put our nation’s health care in peril. Alabamians have spoken out loud and clear against the House vote. It’s time to turn our voices to the Senate, where we’re counting on our senators to stand up for a healthier Alabama and stop this reckless bill in its tracks.”