After a quiet few weeks on that front, the issue of ACA repeal and replace has raised its head again in Congress as Republican support for the Graham-Cassidy Senate bill has gained momentum. Graham-Cassidy would fundamentally convert Medicaid funding to a block grant system, eliminate the individual mandate and essential health benefit requirements, and allow for discrimination against patients with pre-existing conditions.
Unfortunately, this measure emulates the approach taken by previous House and Senate efforts and would likely greatly increase the number of uninsured from current levels. The rapidity with which Graham-Cassidy has emerged has not given the Congressional Budget Office enough time to produce a comprehensive CBO analysis, although a limited analysis is expected by next week.
As it has with previous efforts along these lines, PAEA remains committed to preserving the significant reduction in the national uninsured rate achieved through the Affordable Care Act and strongly urges the Senate to vote no on the Graham-Cassidy bill.
PAEA also opposed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which was projected by the Congressional Budget Office to have resulted in the loss of insurance for 23 million Americans, a dramatic reduction in access to care for some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens. PAEA President William Kohlhepp signed a letter from PAEA to Senate leadership expressing our concerns regarding the AHCA on June 6. We also opposed the Better Care Reconciliation Act, projected to have a similar impact, resulting in the loss of insurance coverage for millions of Americans and significantly increasing the cost burden for low-income patients.
In each of these previous efforts, PAEA has remained steadfast in its support of access to high-quality, affordable health care for all.