Today, the U.S House of Representatives voted 217-213 to approve the American Health Care Act, which repeals portions of the Affordable Care Act and fundamentally, permanently, and devastatingly alters the Medicaid program. EverThrive Illinois is deeply disappointed by this action, including the decision of the seven GOP members from the Illinois Congressional Delegation to support this bill.
The AHCA, should it be approved by the Senate, will have a particularly drastic and negative impact on women and children in Illinois and across the country:
- The bill will result in 24 million Americans, including 1 million here in Illinois, losing health insurance
- It will cause premiums for private health insurance to increase by 15-20% per year for the next two years. This includes a premium surcharge of nearly $30,000 a year for a women with breast cancer and $18,000 a year for a pregnant women as estimated by the Center for American Progress.
- The ability for states to waive health insurance rating provisions and the essential health benefits put crucial protections for the 5.5 million Illinoisans with pre-existing conditions at risk, including 707,000 people under 18. The bill's authors and supporters suggest that people with pre-existing conditions will be protected by the creation of high risk pools, which we know from past experience in Illinois simply do not meet the needs of our sickest residents.
However, the most immoral, cruel, and irresponsible provisions of the bill relate to the Medicaid program, which provides affordable high quality insurance for more than 3 million Illinoisans, including half of all children in this state. The American Health Care Act will cut $800 billion from Medicaid over 10 years, which will result in a loss of at least $40 billion in federal funding for Medicaid in Illinois. As we face the prospect of a third year without a state budget, this bill could rapidly escalate the crisis.
EverThrive IL commends the members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation who acted as champions for and voted against this dangerous bill. Now, we look to Senator Durbin and Senator Duckworth to stand up in the next chapter of this fight. Now is not the time to back down. We must stand together, lean into this conversation, and continue advocating for the children, seniors, people with disabilities, pregnant women, families and those with pre-existing conditions who will be paying a dangerous price if this ill-conceived bill becomes law.
Thank you for the work that you do. We look forward to continuing the fight beside you.
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