On May 4, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives voted by a margin of 217 yeas – 213 nays to pass the mis-named American Health Care Act, H.R. 1628, which repeals the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “ACA” or “Obamacare”); eliminates all federal funding for Planned Parenthood Clinics throughout the U.S.; reduces special education services in schools; and cuts federal spending on Medicaid by over $800 billion, or almost 25% less than under current law. This last element is especially cruel and will deprive millions of Americans, especially low- and middle-income, seniors, children, parents, and people with disabilities from receiving the health care they need and deserve. Perhaps the cruelest twist of this bill is that it will use most of the $1 trillion over ten years which would have gone to provide health care and health coverage to low- and middle-income Americans to provide tax cuts for the wealthiest among us.
As a result of the bill which passed the House, more than 20 million Americans will lose their health insurance; millions more will pay an average of almost $4,000 more each year for less coverage. Furthermore, the version of H.R. 1628 which passed also sharply weakens protections for people with pre-existing conditions; eliminates the national requirement that health plans cover basic benefits like prescription drugs, mental health treatment, and maternity care; and allows employers and insurers to again impose lifetime limits on coverage for important services for most people covered by employer-based health care plans. Instead of spending money on health care and coverage for low- and middle-income Americans, the legislation provides tax cuts to people who make more than $1 million a year. And the wealthiest 400 Americans — whose average incomes exceed $300 million a year — would get an average tax cut of $7 million a year each.
For more information on this bill, as well as how you can advocate against it and to see how every Member voted, please see the attached Issue Update /Action Alert.