The Senators go on to say that they fully support the repeal of ACA, but there needs to be a “gradual transition” from one plan to the next to ensure that people relying on such programs are supported throughout.
“The Affordable Care Act is not working for states or the federal government and must be repealed and replaced with a plan that reforms Medicaid and protects individuals and their families over the long term,” they add.
“However, the February 10 draft proposal from the House does not meet the test of stability for individuals currently enrolled in the program and we will not support a plan that does not include stability for Medicaid expansion populations.”
That last paragraph’s importance cannot be understated. Currently, the GOP have a slim majority of 52 in the Senate, which means they can certainly repeal the ACA – but only if they have pretty much everyone on board. If these four dissenting Senators withdraw their support – and they aren’t alone in their protestations – then ACA won’t be repealed.
Additionally, in order to vote to enact a new bill, the GOP need a “supermajority” of 60 senators to vote for it, something they currently don’t, and won’t, have.
So as it stands, all these people relying on mental health programs may or may not have coverage within a few months depending on what wary GOP lawmakers decide to do. If they do lose their coverage, there’s no mechanism available for them to quickly replace their coverage with a new bill.
A recent study suggested that as many as 83 percent of people will suffer from a mental health issue at some point during their lives. HR 1275, as it stands, will doom millions to deal with these problems themselves, and that’s nothing short of unacceptable.