Last month’s release of the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) score of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) further confirms what we already know: the AHCA is a terrible bill for consumers, especially kids, older adults, people with disabilities and low- and middle-income families.
According to the CBO’s analysis, 23 million people would lose their health care coverage by 2026, all to finance tax cuts for the wealthy.
Coincidentally, Last week Senator Rubio released a video detailing his priorities on health care. It is clear that some of his underlying assumptions have to change.
In his video, he states that the legislation the Senate is currently considering only affects Marketplace plans.
Unfortunately, the ACA protections that Senators are considering removing, including the essential health benefits, and community rating will impact all health insurance plans, even employer based coverage.
Senator Rubio rightly calls for Floridians to not be punished for not expanding Medicaid.
Unfortunately, Floridians have already been punished - the decision not to expand has left over half a million Floridians with no options for care.
Admirably, Senator Rubio stated that his goal with Medicaid is to “cover more people with better care.”
Nevertheless, the only proposals being discussed (block grants/per capita caps) drastically cut funding for Medicaid by over $800 billion. That will make it harder to cover more people or even maintain the current levels of care.
Senator Rubio accurately points out that young, healthy people have remained uninsured and have not signed up for the Marketplace.
However, this ignores the reality that the opponents of the ACA have actively worked to undermine the law and sign ups in the individual marketplace since 2010. In Florida that includes not letting Navigators work with county health departments. There is a lot we can all be doing together as community organizations and government to help young people understand the value of healthcare and the opportunities to get covered.
Senator Rubio claims that even without federal rules like essential health benefits, Floridians would be protected by the over 40 consumer laws on the books.
The reality is that, the ACA's minimum requirements for health plans look like a gold standard because of how little consumer protections are actually available through the state. Over 40 regulations and still no guaranteed coverage for ambulatory care, substance abuse screening, mental health, or preventative care.
The CBO score came at a crucial moment – senators are working behind closed doors on legislation.
We are urging Floridians to contact Senator Rubio and members of Congress TODAY at 866-426-2631 (English) or 877-736-7831 (Spanish) and demand answers on the American Healthcare Act.
The ACA can be improved, but not by kicking millions off coverage and drastically cutting Medicaid.
We are asking Senator Rubio to commit to opposing any bill that:
(1) increases the number of uninsured; or
(2) ends the Medicaid expansion or Medicaid as we know it; or
(3) loosens protections for people with preexisting conditions
We’re asking the people at home to call Senator Rubio and ask him to make the same commitment.
You can also find and email your US Reps at www.healthyfla.org/protectourcare.