Senate Should Focus on Solutions That Move the Country Forward, Not Backward

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2017

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

Senate Should Focus on Solutions That Move the Country Forward, Not Backward

WASHINGTON — After the U.S. Senate rejected several Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal proposals on a bipartisan basis last night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) closed debate, ending for now the Republican-led Congress’s ACA repeal efforts.

The Congressional Budget Office determined that the various repeal and, in some cases, replacement proposals considered by Congress in recent weeks would take health coverage away from between 16 and 32 million people. In addition to repealing the ACA, those bills included provisions making deep cuts to Medicaid, dramatically increasing out-of-pocket costs and premiums, undermining employer-sponsored insurance, and eliminating critical patient protection reforms.

The GOP legislation included proposals that would particularly harm immigrant families by excluding lawfully present immigrants from assistance for and even enrollment in the ACA marketplaces. Several senators who have supported responsible immigration reform proposals in the past, including Senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Dean Heller (R-NV), nevertheless voted this week to deny immigrants health care.

Reacting to the Senate vote, the National Immigration Law Center released the following statement from its director of policy and advocacy, Kamal Essaheb:

“Last night’s vote was the latest in a series of failed attempts to pass bad legislation that would have caused millions of people to suffer, and it sends a pretty clear signal. Dismantling solutions isn’t legislating, and denying people—any people—health care and other basic needs isn’t a solution.

“This isn’t a loss for congressional Republicans, it’s an opportunity for lawmakers of both parties to recommit to finding real paths forward for our country. Leaders from both parties should know that if and when they return to health policy or the funding of health programs, the people they represent will hold them accountable for last night’s vote and for any votes in the future that harm the health of their communities.”

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