Statement: U.S. House Narrowly Passes Trumpcare, Putting Millions of North Carolinians’ Health Care of At Risk

RALEIGH (May 4, 2017) — Today, Republicans in the House of Representatives rushed to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA) without any public hearings or a new score from the Congressional Budget Office, and without telling the truth to the American people about what’s in their bill.

The following members of the North Carolina delegation voted for the AHCA: Rep. George Holding (District 2); Rep. Virginia Foxx (District 5); Rep. Mark Walker (District 6); Rep. David Rouzer (District 7); Rep. Richard Hudson (District 8); Rep. Robert Pittenger (District 9); Rep. Patrick McHenry (District 10); Rep. Mark Meadows (District 11); and Rep. Ted Budd (District 13).

This bill is a bad deal for North Carolina. It would repeal the Affordable Care Act, slash the Medicaid program, and shift health care costs from the federal government onto North Carolina’s state budget and our most vulnerable communities. Funds cut from life-saving health care programs would be used to create new tax breaks for insurance companies, pharmaceutical corporations, and the wealthy. All in all, the bill would leave more than one million Tar Heels uninsured.

North Carolina would suffer under this bill more than any other state in the U.S. besides Alaska. This year, over half a million North Carolinians—549,158 to be exact—enrolled in a plan on the ACA’s Marketplace, and 90.5 percent of them did so with the help of the Affordable Care Act’s premium tax credit subsidies. If made into law, this bill would repeal the ACA’s premium tax credits and replace them with flat tax credits that do not adjust for income or the actual cost of plans. As a result, annual premiums in North Carolina would rise by $5,921 on average.

While premium rates would skyrocket—particularly for North Carolina’s older adults, rural communities, and people with low incomes—deductibles and out-of-pocket costs will also go up by an average of $1,628 in our state. Altogether, this bill would increase total health care costs by a whopping $7,549 per year for residents of our state.

What’s more, the nearly four million North Carolinians living with pre-existing conditions will no longer be protected against discrimination. The AHCA would take us back to a time when insurers could price people with pre-existing conditions out of the market with skyrocketing premium rates; when plans could offer bare-bones coverage, leaving patients without access to affordable care and vulnerable to bankruptcy-inducing medical debt; and when North Carolinians with high-cost medical conditions such as cancer had to worry about lifetime limits or annual caps on their coverage.

The AHCA would also cut federal funding for Medicaid by 25 percent over 10 years, shifting $6 billion in costs to North Carolina’s state budget, straining our state resources, and ultimately jeopardizing coverage and benefits for North Carolina’s most vulnerable—including children, people with disabilities, and seniors living in nursing homes.

Senator Richard Burr and Senator Thom Tillis must stand up for North Carolinians who stand to lose coverage and see costs increase under this proposal. The Senate should reject the AHCA outright and start over with a more thoughtful, careful approach to our nation’s health care system. The people of North Carolina cannot afford a plan that will increase premiums, jack up deductibles, and ultimately take away our coverage.

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

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