Davis Statement on Proposed Republican Health Care Plan
March 7, 2017
Republican leaders introduced their "repeal and replace" legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives Monday evening. With most media attention focused on President Trump's unsubstantiated and provocative charges of wire tapping against President Obama most of America first heard of the proposed legislation this morning. President Trump weighed in via Twitter this morning:
Donald J. Trump ? @realDonaldTrumpOur wonderful new Healthcare Bill is now out for review and negotiation. ObamaCare is a complete and total disaster - is imploding fast!6:13 AM - 7 Mar 2017
Contrary to the "alternate facts" presented by President Trump, far from imploding in 2017 Obamacare covered at least 11.5 million through the exchanges and millions more under Medicaid.
So what is in the "wonderful new Healthcare Bill" President Trump and the GOP introduced?
Here are few of the "features" of the bill:
- Directs its main focus on attacking Medicaid by phasing in funding caps for each state which, over the course of the next few years would limit federal assistance on what they can spend on health care for those in poverty and the working poor ultimately impacting tens of millions above and beyond those who recently enrolled under the ACA.
- Replacement of the ACA premium subsidies with a tax credit that ranges for individuals from $2,000 to $4,000 a year, based on age and income reducing the tax credits for individuals with annual incomes over $75,000 and married couples with incomes over $150,000. The credits would go toward policies purchased on the open market which would be less regulated and would cover less and charge more.
- Would cut taxes on the wealthy now used to pay for health care by hundreds of billions of dollars. Would kill a 3.8 percent investment tax on the well-to-do as well as a 0.9 percent surcharge on wages above $250,000. Would postpone, and ultimately repeal taxes on medical devices, insurance companies and prescription drug makers, as well as ACA limitations on flexible spending and health savings accounts.
- The bill would cut off federal funds to Planned Parenthood clinics through Medicaid and other government programs for one year resulting in a huge blow to basic health care for women.
- Offer more freedom to discriminate based on age: A 55-year-old could end up paying five times (compared to a maximum of three times under ACA) more than a 25-year-old for the same insurance coverage.
- Would deal a huge blow to community health care centers which now provide a disproportionally large share of health care to low income and minority communities.
- Would move ahead with committee hearings and votes in committee and before the full House on the legislation before the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has reviewed the bill and given numbers on how much health insurance would probably cost under this plan and how many people would be covered.
Independent experts have predicted that as many as 15 million Americans will lose their health care coverage should the legislation pass.
Republicans have fought every advance in health care tooth and nail: Medicare, Medicaid, community health centers, vaccines and public health funding, CHIP (health care for children) and the ACA. Now they are ready to mount a full scale offensive in turning back every hard won gain of the past sixty years.
Despite having the most expensive health care system, the United States ranks last overall among 11 industrialized countries on measures of health system quality, efficiency, access to care, equity, and healthy lives, according to a recent Commonwealth Fund report. This is nothing less than declaring war on our health care system. It will impact every aspect of health care and coupled with the GOP commitment to cut funding for medical research will impact every American.
I will do all in my power to oppose this legislation and every other attempt to slash away at health care for our people. I will continue to work to address the weaknesses in ACA and my ultimate goal remains a national “Medicare for all” system where every one of our people will receive health care as a right.
"Congressman Davis is Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Human Resources within the House Committee on Ways and Means with broad jurisdiction over Federal safety net programs, including Unemployment Insurance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, child and family services, foster care, adoption, child support, child care, and home visiting."