Press Release: CBO Finds 23 Million Will Lose Coverage Under Amended American Health Care Act

Posted May 24, 2017 by Amanda Dunker

Albany, NY – Health Care for All New York (HCFANY), a statewide coalition of over 170 consumer advocacy organizations, calls upon the Trump Administration and the Republican majority in Congress to abandon their efforts to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in light of today’s devastating Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score. Nationally, the amended AHCA would cause 14 million people to lose coverage next year, and 23 million over ten years – causing untold pain and suffering for countless Americans. The bill uses the savings from throwing people off coverage to fund billions in tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.

The AHCA is the latest is an endless stream of attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and dismantle the Medicaid program. These efforts continue despite numerous expert analyses, including today’s CBO report, describing the destruction they would cause and despite opposition from constituents across the political spectrum. Indeed, the health care community is united in its opposition to this effort. New Yorkers have benefited enormously from both the ACA and Medicaid, including a drop in our uninsured rate from 10 to just 5 percent, our lowest uninsured rate ever.

The Cuomo Administration estimated that 2.7 million New Yorkers would lose coverage under the original AHCA, and the revised one does nothing to improve it. The bill continues to hurt older moderate-income people the most. In CBO’s example, a person between the ages of 50 and 64 who earns $26,500 a year would pay $16,100 for a plan, compared to $1,700 under current law – over 800 percent more.

CBO estimates that the bill will cut Medicaid by $834 billion over ten years, and that 14 million would lose access to the program. Medicaid provides affordable, quality care to six million New Yorkers including over a third of our children. It keeps our poorest and most fragile elderly people safe, at their own homes and in nursing homes. It helps people with disabilities manage their limitations and live independent lives like everyone else. And it helps working families who cannot afford private insurance stay healthy.

Elisabeth Benjamin, Vice President of Health Initiatives at Community Service Society of New York, said “New York has made tremendous progress in the past four years towards becoming a more humane society where health care is available to nearly all New Yorkers. That progress is due to the ACA, our state’s long-standing support for an expansive Medicaid program and our innovative Essential Plan. We must keep fighting efforts to undo our health care achievements.”

Rebecca Telzak, Director of Health Programs at Make the Road New York, said “It is unconscionable that any member of New York’s congressional delegation continue supporting an agenda that damages the ACA or Medicaid in light of yet another expert finding about the destruction that agenda will cause. New Yorkers need all of their representatives to start putting constituents’ needs ahead of political considerations.”