Protect Our Care Illinois Applauds the Delay of the American Health Care Act Vote
In a sign that the campaign to preserve affordable, accessible health care for all Americans is reverberating in Washington, the House of Representatives has delayed a vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA). This bill would repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a plan that would eliminate medical coverage for 24 million Americans. We hope that leaders in Congress will rethink this dangerous approach to reforming our health care system.
The Protect Our Care Illinois coalition joins health care organizations, patients, and concerned citizens everywhere in celebrating this delay. While the crusade against the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid is likely to go on, the health care for all Illinoisans is more secure due to the AHCA’s temporary defeat.
“The delay of the vote on the AHCA is a victory for all Illinoisans, from children and families, to seniors and people living with disabilities,” said EverThrive Illinois Executive Director and Protect Our Care Illinois leader Sessy Nyman. “We’re still on edge as the fate of the vote is still unclear, but we could not be more thankful that the interests of the 24 million people nationwide who would lose coverage under the AHCA have won out today.”
The Protect Our Care Illinois coalition is grateful for the dozens of organizations and hundreds of ordinary concerned citizens who turned out today to celebrate the Affordable Care Act’s anniversary and demand that it be protected. These efforts were critical to speak out against the AHCA, and the importance of stopping the AHCA can hardly be overstated. The bill as drafted would have caused:
- Over one million Illinoisans could lose their health insurance.
- Illinois could lose as much as $40 billion in federal support over ten years.
- Medicaid expansion would end, eliminating the resources needed to address the opioid epidemic and implement meaningful behavioral health reform.
- Cost sharing reductions are eliminated, leading to ever-larger co-insurance and deductibles for the over 50% of Marketplace customers who receive cost sharing reductions today.
- Older Illinoisans with Marketplace coverage could see their costs spike by $5,000 a year or more compared to under the ACA.
The Protect Our Care Illinois coalition knows that this is but a temporary success, and efforts to gut the Medicaid program and repeal the protections afforded by the ACA will continue. Thankfully, our coalition and the thousands of concerned citizens who have been engaged are not going anywhere.
Protect Our Care Illinois Campaign Organizer Scott Cross might have said it best: “What we saw here today was a movement to reject the idea that you should be denied health care based on your income, background, or health condition – to reject going backwards. Our communities won’t accept anything less than a health care system that works for all of us, and when opponents of Medicaid and the ACA try again to undermine this goal, we will be ready and waiting.”