May 07, 2017
GOP Backed Trump Care (AHCA) Bill Strips Health Care From Millions to Finance $600 Billion in Tax Cuts for Corporations and the Wealthiest Americans
Despite unprecedented outrage from constituents and a 17% approval rating seven (7) Congressional Representatives in New York State voted to take health care away from 2.7 million New Yorkers.
Congressional Representatives Lee Zeldin (R/CD #1), Peter King (R/CD #2), John Faso (R/CD #19), Elise Stefanik (R/CD # 21), Claudia Tenney (R/CD # 22), Tom Reed (R/CD # 23) and Chris Collins (R/CD # 27) all voted for the severely flawed and dangerous bill despite the fact that the Congressional Budget Office did not analyze it and according to Congressman Collins many did not READ the bill. All eighteen Democratic representatives plus Congressman Donovan (R/CD #11) and Congressman Katko (R/CD #24) voted against Trump Care and stood against this disastrous bill.
This bill would take us back to the days when insurance companies made all the rules. It could eliminate any requirement that insurers cover basic health benefits like prescription drugs, preventive services that help bend the cost curve of health care, maternity care and pediatric care. It could let insurers charge the 8.5 million people in New York State that have pre existing conditions whatever they want. This would make health care accessible but would likely price those with pre existing conditions out of the healthcare market. It allows women and seniors to be charged more than men and young people. It increases the ACA provision that limited the premiums for seniors to not exceed 3x what a healthy young male pays to 5x what a healthy young male pays . It block grants Medicaid, a program that accounts for 62% of long term care, and cuts $880 billion over ten years from Medicaid to pay for the $600 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy ($195,000 per person for the wealthiest .1%) This $880 billion cuts services to seniors, children and people with disabilities while creating a $103 billion shortfall to the New York State budget. Medicaid covers 46% of children and 28% of seniors and people with disabilities in New York.
The health care subsidies under the ACA would be drastically decreased with the maximum subsidy being $4,000 per year. (the ACA subsidy for a single person at 133% of poverty level in 2017 is $15,800 per year) The subsidy that was paid directly to the insurers making it possible to purchase coverage is gone under Trump Care and replaced by a refundable tax credit paid when you file your taxes. The Trump Care subsidies would be based on age NOT on income. A person making $225,000 per year would still qualify for a subsidy. The Republican health plan would result in an average of $2,708 increase in cost of a marketplace plan in New York State. Under the plan a 60 year old making $26,500 would have paid $1,700 in premiums under the ACA and under Trump Care would pay $14,600.
Because of this legislation even the 85% of people that are covered by employer based coverage can be impacted. They can have all the free preventive care that currently is provided because of the ACA mandates taken away, Yearly and lifetime caps on coverage, that were eliminated under the ACA, may well be reemployed and essential health benefits such as prescription drugs, emergency care, maternity care, pediatric care etc. can be removed.
NYSARA President Barry Kaufmann said “We need to NEVER FORGET and must hold the Congressional representatives that voted for this harmful legislation and refused to heed the wishes of their constituents accountable. These are the same Congressional representatives that hid and refused to hold town hall meetings to engage their constituents. The 2018 election is not that far off. We must vote our interests and send a message. If we fail to vote or to hold our representatives accountable, we then give up the right to act surprised when they do what is best for THEIR interests rather than OURS.” The next battle is in the Senate and while Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand are our champions on this issue, we must speak to all our friends and family around the country and encourage them to express their outrage to their own Senators.