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The New Republican Proposal is the “Wrong Way” and Will Lead to Worse Health

The New Republican Proposal is the “Wrong Way” and Will Lead to Worse Health

CPEHN is concerned that the Republican proposal for replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will lead to less care at higher cost for communities who least can afford it. After six years of attempting to repeal the ACA without a viable replacement plan, Congressional Republican leadership released another white paper on Thursday, February 16, outlining their ideas. Republicans insist their ideas will be “better” but they are only moving us in the wrong direction.

CPEHN believes a better health care plan must:

  • Cover more people
  • Increase basic protections such as helping those with pre-existing conditions
  • Reduce health care costs for everyone

These latest ideas from Republican leaders do none of these things. Instead they roll back comprehensive benefits and erode vital consumer protections. Republicans are forcing states to make hard decisions about who will get care with fewer resources. Their idea of reform is to take money away from the poor and redirect it to the rich which will result in millions of Californians losing access to affordable health care coverage.

Some troubling ideas that Republicans are proposing include:

Eliminating health care coverage for California’s poorest residents: For generations, poor people have been locked out of the health care system. For the first time, the ACA offered coverage at little to no cost. The Republican plan repeals the Medicaid expansion for single adults and slashes funding for those states that choose to continue to provide coverage. In addition, they are punishing states that expanded Medicaid by reducing funding to cover this population. Yet, they are rewarding states that chose to leave poor people without coverage and giving them extra resources.

Redirecting money from the poor to the rich: The Republican plan would change how tax credits are distributed by giving people without employer coverage a tax credit tied to age not income. Under this scenario, a retired Silicon Valley executive would get the same amount of financial assistance as a small business owner, the same age, who is living near the poverty line.

Overreliance on Health Savings Accounts: Republicans also want to expand the use of tax deductible Health Savings Accounts to help people pay for medical care. For low-income families and individuals struggling with every day household items, and no extra income to save, Health Savings Accounts will offer little relief to help pay for their care.

Going back in time: With all the rollbacks in coverage, Republicans are bribing states by offering more “flexibility.” What they are really doing is going back to the way people used to get care before the ACA. For example, California’s high-risk pool, which is one of the options states can choose, offered long waits for coverage, high prices, limited benefits and few health plan choices. Californians literally died waiting for coverage.

The ideas proposed by Republicans will not replace the health care that 32 million Americans have. This is rolling the dice with people’s lives. We must continue to #Fight4OurHealth

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