New Health Care Legislation Would Harm Those Served by UCC’s Health Care Ministries

The Senate is expected to vote early next week on potentially three versions of health care reform: the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA), an updated version of the Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), and the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act (ORRA), which would repeal major provisions of the ACA without any replacement plan.

Several health and human service-related religious organizations, including the UCC’s Council for Health and Human Service Ministries, are encouraging people to contact their senators and urge them to “vote ‘no’ on the motion to proceed” to debate and vote on these reform bills, and encourage them to follow the Republican and Democratic senators calling for a bipartisan solution. Find out how to contact your senator.

The Senate released another version of the Better Reconciliation Care Act July 20 with a distressing score showing that 22 million people will lose health coverage under the bill and over $750 billion would be cut from the Medicaid program. Analysis indicates that this legislation is flawed and cannot be fixed through additional pools of money to the states.

Funding cuts and structural changes to Medicaid included in both the House and Senate bills would inflict permanent and far-reaching damage on communities, leading to coverage losses for millions of our nation’s most vulnerable populations.

Senate leaders are still discussing the addition of large state Medicaid funding pools, intended to make the bill more agreeable to those senators who have not supported it thus far. However, this funding would be inadequate to meet the health care needs of the tens of millions of individuals and families losing health insurance coverage as a result of the elimination of state Medicaid coverage expansions and structural changes included in the bills.

A version of this alert was released by the Catholic Health Association of the United States to its religious partner organizations. Passage of the current version of the bill will have severe repercussions for CHHSM-member ministries as they serve their client populations.

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