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Senate Health Care Bill a Time Bomb for Medicaid

The Senate’s version of the American Health Care Act released today plants a time bomb in the nation’s Medicaid program. Current ACA laws expanded coverage and improved access for millions of Americans. But the Republican AHCA bill would guarantee that millions more Americans would lose coverage and access to care, with Medicaid enrollees suffering the most. The Senate version is by no means a “better” version of the House bill that the Senate claimed it would be. The Senate bill cuts deeper to the core of Medicaid by imposing more severe caps on each state’s Medicaid program.

Should the Senate bill become law, state Medicaid programs will have to either cut services or cut people from the program, leaving millions without coverage. This threatens the health care of not just our newly eligible Medicaid enrollees, but also our low-income seniors, working families, children, and persons with disabilities. Never in the history of Medicaid has the federal government refused to pay its share of the cost of providing care. If this bill passes millions of low-income Californians will lose coverage.

Republicans attempt to hide these Medicaid cuts by timing them to hit after every member is up for reelection. This allows them to reap the benefit of the tax cuts to the rich while avoiding blowback for cutting health care for the poor. The drafters assume that Americans either will not understand the devastation that will hit the Medicaid program or do not care whether our poorest, oldest, and sickest residents die without needed medical care.

Western Center urges all of our friends and allies to stand up for America’s Medicaid enrollees. Please, call your Senators. Urge your friends, especially friends in other states, to call their Senators. Help us get the message out that cutting health care for the poor in order to give tax cuts to the rich is un-American.