In the latest move to undo access to affordable health care, and yet another sign of the extremism in this Congress, Senate Republicans have announced a plan to use tax-cut legislation to potentially take health insurance coverage away from 13 million Americans. The plan would hurt low-income families, people of color, and women most of all.
Senate leaders are proposing the repeal of a critical provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA): the mandate that requires most Americans to sign up for health coverage. Without the mandate, the Congressional Budget Office says that insurance will become less affordable — with average premiums for individual coverage expected to rise by 10 percent.
The result: millions fewer among the ranks of the insured over the next 10 years. By 2027, a projected 13 million people will have lost health coverage.
If it feels like we’ve been through this before, we have. Congress has made at least 70 failed attempts in the last seven years to repeal all or part of the ACA. Since the Trump administration took power, each of those attempts has brought out ferocious opposition by millions of voters who know the ACA has helped to save lives.
Since January alone, Planned Parenthood supporters have made 350,000 phone calls to members of Congress and held more than 2,700 events across the country. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood has gained more than one million supporters.
Major health groups have already denounced Republicans’ new plan. In a letter, organizations including the American Medical Association, leading health insurers, and leading hospitals warned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and others that repealing the mandate would “further destabiliz[e] an already fragile individual and small group health insurance market.”
For many — disproportionately including women — the consequences could be grave. Nearly 10 million women gained health coverage thanks to the ACA, bringing the number of uninsured women down by half. Within Black and Hispanic communities, the proportion lacking coverage fell respectively by a half & over one-fourth.
Senate Republicans’ latest repeal gimmick, if it becomes law, could undo all of that progress.
That’s a galling prospect because of how Republicans’ tax plan was already likely to affect Americans of different incomes. Their tax legislation would disportionately benefit corporations and wealthy families — with working families not only gaining little, but in some cases even paying higher taxes.
And here’s what’s clear: voters appear to want access to health care protected, not pared down. Just this month, 39 percent of Virginians voting in the state’s elections said health care was their top issue. Of those, more than three-quarters backed winning gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam — who wanted Virginians to have more access to coverage, not less.
Fight back. Tell Congress to stop playing games with your access to health care:CALL YOUR SENATOR NOW