Irresponsible Vote on Senate “Repeal and Disgrace” Health Care Bill Opposed by Immigrant Advocates

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2017

CONTACT
Email: media@nilc.org
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

Irresponsible Vote on Senate “Repeal and Disgrace” Health Care Bill Opposed by Immigrant Advocates

WASHINGTON — After two prior failures, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled another attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—this time without even knowing what form of the deeply unpopular bill the Senate will be considering.

Today’s anticipated vote on a “motion to proceed” will determine whether the Senate can consider GOP plans to repeal the ACA, which the Congressional Budget Office has determined will take health coverage away from between 22 to 32 million people, depending on which plan the Senate takes up. In addition to repealing the ACA, the bills put forth so far would make deep cuts to Medicaid, dramatically increase out-of-pocket costs and raise premiums, undermine employer-sponsored insurance, and eliminate critical patient protection reforms.

The different GOP proposals all include proposals that would particularly harm immigrant families. The Senate GOP bill—the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA)—goes further than a radical proposal passed earlier this year by the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill backed by McConnell cuts off all access to health insurance for some lawfully present immigrants, by barring them from accessing the ACA’s health insurance marketplaces and eliminating their access to the financial assistance that 84 percent of participants on the marketplace rely on. However, by denying tax credits to many lawfully present immigrants, the House bill would effectively achieve a similar unacceptable outcome.

In anticipation of today’s vote, the National Immigration Law Center released the following statement by its health policy attorney, Matthew Lopas:

“Congressional Republicans promised repeal and replace, but this is repeal and disgrace. Decisions about the health of millions of families, immigrant and citizen alike, should not be made on the fly on the floor of the Senate. I rarely agree with President Trump, but he was right when he called the House bill ‘mean.’ The Senate Republican bill is downright cruel, and that’s why responsible Republicans like Senators Susan Collins, Shelley Moore Capito, Lisa Murkowski, and Dean Heller have all publicly opposed it. They must keep their word and reject this unpopular, anti–health care scheme.”

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