Bill Slashes Medicaid, Leaves 22 Million Uninsured to Pay for Tax Breaks for Wealthy
RALEIGH (June 26, 2017) — Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its analysis of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the bill drafted by Senate Republican leadership behind closed doors without a single public hearing. Despite having just unveiled the proposal four days ago and having made significant changes to its provisions today, Senate Republicans plan to rush this bill to the floor for a vote this week.
Today’s CBO report reveals that the BCRA would have devastating impacts on the health and financial security of North Carolinians, from those with low and middle incomes to our most vulnerable citizens, such as medically-fragile children and seniors living in nursing homes.
The CBO report finds that the BCRA would:
- Take health coverage away from 22 million Americans, especially low-income older adults;
- Slash Medicaid funding by 26 percent with back-loaded cuts that deepen over time (leading to even deeper cuts and more Americans uninsured outside of the ten-year period measured by CBO);
- Increase deductibles so much that “few low-income people would purchase any plan”;
- Raise premiums by 20 percent next year, and hike premiums in the long run particularly for low-income communities and older adults;
- Lead to skimpier plans with bare-bones coverage, increasing costs for consumers needing coverage for maternity care, mental health care, and other key services;
- Reinstate annual and lifetime limits on coverage; and
- Provide $541 billion in tax breaks to the wealthy, insurers, and drug companies.
We call on Senator Tillis and Senator Burr to oppose this bill and any variation of it that caps funding for Medicaid and ultimately increases the number of uninsured people in our state.
Senate leadership would be wise to back away from their rushed efforts to fast-track this bill and instead start over with an open process that consults the perspectives of patients, health care providers, economists, churches, and the American people, the vast majority of which oppose this proposal.