April 26, 2017

GOP’s Latest Health Care Plan Takes Aim at Americans with Pre-existing Conditions While Protecting Members of Congress and Staff

Still Contains the Unsavory Parts of the Previous Attempt at “Reform”

The following statement was issued by Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in response to media reports on the House Republicans’ latest plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“The House Republicans have succeeded in making a very bad health care bill even worse. Access to health care is a right, not a privilege. Allowing people who are sick or older to be discriminated against because they have a pre-existing condition is unacceptable. Retirees will be speaking out in strong opposition to this proposal.

“The newest Republican health care scheme fails the critical test of lowering costs and ensuring coverage for all Americans. The House GOP amendment, which the Trump Administration supports, would allow states to waive protections for those with pre-existing conditions. Among people ages 55 to 64, 84 percent had at least one pre-existing condition in 2014.

“Adding insult to injury, Republicans in Congress want to exempt their own insurance from their latest proposal, keeping popular Obamacare provisions for themselves and their staff.

“Republicans still want to change the age rating for older Americans from 3:1 to 5:1, or even more in some states. Enabling insurers to charge older Americans that much more will greatly increase costs for people over the age of 50. Since Congress gets to keep its superior coverage, this will leave seniors paying for the better coverage that members of Congress get through Obamacare.

“House Republicans and President Trump are so desperate to pass something by the President’s 100th day in office that they are willing to sacrifice health care for the most vulnerable citizens. While not explicitly eliminating coverage, anyone with a serious health condition would face such high premiums that it would be virtually impossible for them to afford health insurance. It’s a cynical plan, and the American people will not be fooled by it.

“In addition, the plan doesn’t do anything to fix the major problems with the American Health Care Act, including gutting Medicare and cutting $880 billion from Medicaid.

“In giving this plan their seal of approval, the Trump administration will break the president’s clearly stated promise to protect people with pre-existing conditions.

“The Affordable Care Act protects people with pre-existing conditions and strengthens Medicare. This plan does not. We must not allow the Trump Administration and the GOP Congress to move us backwards.”

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