WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Finance Health Care Subcommittee, issued the following statement on the just-passed House of Representatives American Health Care Act.
“The House bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act promises to hurt tens of millions of Americans. In the rush to pass a bill – any bill – the Republicans have taken bad legislation and made it even worse. Consumers will pay more, women will pay more, families fighting mental illness and opioid misuse or abuse will pay more, seniors will pay more, Americans with pre-existing conditions will pay more – despite the President’s proclamations to the contrary –and taxpayers will pay more for this Republican rush to say ‘they got it done.’ All while Republicans provide significant tax breaks for the wealthy.
“I read the Affordable Care Act. I talked with experts, listened to constituents, held town halls and participated in hearings. Democrats held over 50 hearings on health reform. The public had time to review the bill and voice their support or dissent. We had a score from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office to tell us how much they thought it might cost and the number of Americans who would be covered. This is far from what has been happening with the current Republican health care bill. There are strong reasons why hospitals, patient advocacy groups, healthcare providers and other stakeholders have come out against the recent bill. The House language wipes out the ACA’s vital consumer protections that over 400,000 Marylanders depend on. This bill gives power back to the health insurance carriers, not the people and the patients.
“Democrats, and I hope reasonable Republicans, will fight this bill when it comes to the Senate. We will do all we can to stop this effort to sabotage America’s health care system just as we were making progress in improving health outcomes and slowing the pace of escalating costs. The estimated $900 billion cut to Medicaid alone will do immense damage to our country, public health and our economy. Ensuring that 14 million Americans lose their health insurance in the next year is not the way to improve our health care system.”