Making Democracy Work

Health Care Reform

June 2017 League of Women Voters of the United States Press Release on Senate Health Care Bill

Press Release 06/22/2017 by Sarah Courtney

SENATE HEALTH CARE BILL IS NOT WORTHY OF THIS GREAT NATION

"Legislation Will Defund Medicaid and Harm Millions of Americans"

Washington, DC League of Women Voters President Chris Carson today issued the following statement on the "Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017" unveiled by Senate leadership:

"The Better Care Reconciliation Act is even worse than the version we saw pass in the House of Representatives and is not worthy of this great nation. The cuts to Medicaid will be massive and will destroy the system that so many Americans rely on. This is a nasty bill that will hurt millions of Americans and we urge Senators to reject it.

"It is not at all surprising that this bill is a terrible one. Legislation developed in secret and rushed to passage is usually trying to hide something. Like the House bill, the Senate plan will cut coverage and raise costs for millions of Americans while giving a huge tax break to the wealthiest individuals and large corporations. The Senators who wrote this bill should be ashamed of themselves.

"As the League has said before, we know the Affordable Care Act is not perfect, however it has successfully provided health care coverage to tens of millions of Americans who previously went without. "The Senate health care bill will hurt tens of millions of people across our nation. Rushing through this legislation that will negatively impact so many Americans is just wrong."

Support for the Affordable Care Act

In 1993, the League of Women Voters adopted a position calling for a basic level of quality health care at an affordable cost being available to all U.S. residents. Over the past 20 years, we have lobbied hard for passage of comprehensive health care reform and celebrated success when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed Congress, was signed into law by President Obama, and upheld by the Supreme Court.

With the implementation of the ACA, and the opening of Health Care Exchanges, State and local Leagues throughout the country have been working to get the word out to the American people about the law and its pivotal impact on their lives. Leagues have also been at the forefront of efforts to assure that state governments work with, not against, the ACA in bringing health care coverage to all. Some have held public education meetings, some have produced brochures, and some have initiated litigation to fight against attempts to undermine the ACA.

The Affordable Care Act has already made a difference in the lives of many Americans. Children are no longer denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions, young adults can stay on their parents' health plans as dependents until age 26 and Medicare participants will have annual check-ups and mammograms. As of October 1, many uninsured Americans began to sign up on the exchanges, and we are one step closer to health care for all.

(Excerpted from LWVUS Leaders' Update, Oct. 2013)