The changes to Medicaid are particularly galling. One-in-five Americans rely on it to stay alive. It covers half of all births, 64 percent of all nursing home residents, 30 percent of adults will disabilities, 60 percent of children with disabilities, and 76 percent of all poor children. These people will all suffer if this bill passes.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) hasn’t had time to properly assess this bill yet, but it’s likely that plenty of the measures in the AHCA will be carried over. This means that yet again, 23-24 million more people would be uninsured by the mid-2020s. It also means that things like “being pregnant” and “being a victim of domestic violence” become pre-existing conditions that companies could use to discriminate against.
Drafted in secret and without consultation – unlike the ACA – the BCRA is already being hammered by medical professionals. The Association of American Medical Colleges released a statement in which they called it “extremely disappointing”.
“Despite promises to the contrary, it will leave millions of people without health coverage, and others with only bare bones plans that will be insufficient to properly address their needs.
“Rather than stabilizing the health care marketplace, this legislation will upend it by crippling the Medicaid program while also placing untenable strain on states and providers.”
Former President Obama has himself weighed in on the bill in a lengthy Facebook post, which can be read in full here.
“The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill,” Obama notes. “It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else.”
If the BCRA passes, America will be made sicker – there’s no question about it. Many of America’s incredible advances in medical research will be for naught if a massive swath of the public won’t ever be able to afford the treatments they lead to.