STATEMENT: Just-Released Senate ‘Wealthcare’ Bill Cuts Health Care for North Carolina’s Working Families and Most Vulnerable

Bill Also Passes Tax Breaks to Wealthy

RALEIGH (June 22, 2017) — Senate Republicans have released a draft proposal that may form the starting point for a bill that they plan to vote on next week. They crafted this proposal behind closed doors without any public hearings or public input, and they plan to rush the bill to the floor.

We are still taking time to digest the bill, but it is clear that this proposal would jeopardize coverage for millions of North Carolinians who gained coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act as well as those who rely on the Medicaid program for their care.

This bill would end the Medicaid program as we know it, radically restructuring it away from a federal guarantee and instead forcing our state to pick up the tab when the federal government makes huge cuts to the program. Over 1 million low-income children in North Carolina rely on Medicaid for their health care, as do 2 out of 5 individuals with disabilities and 3 out of 5 seniors in nursing homes across the state.

On top of that, the Senate bill would slash financial assistance for people buying private insurance, forcing them to pay more for less. Health insurance plans would cover less, deductibles would skyrocket, and all the while premiums would increase by leaps and bounds, especially for people with low-incomes, older adults, and middle-class families. States could also waive protections that those with pre-existing and chronic health conditions rely on.

As a result, millions will lose insurance coverage and those who retain it will pay more for worse coverage. Worse yet, these cuts will pay for massive tax cuts for the wealthy, drug corporations, and insurance companies.

This is the wrong path forward for North Carolina. We call on Senators Tillis and Burr to reject this plan and work on a bipartisan path forward that makes health care more affordable and more accessible for North Carolina.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT Brendan Riley, brendan@ncjustice.org, 919.861.2074; Julia Hawes, julia@ncjustice.org.

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