WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Finance Health Care Subcommittee, issued the following statement on the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office report on the House plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. More than 400,000 Marylanders gained health coverage because of the Affordable Care Act.
“The Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act comes down to this: a multi-billion dollar tax cut for the very wealthiest Americans – who get to keep the high standard of benefits a majority of Americans like from the Affordable Care Act – paid for by cutting health coverage for millions of working and middle class Americans, including seniors and our most vulnerable families. An incredible 14 million will be dumped from their health coverage next year, if this disaster of a plan is forced through Congress. The numbers become staggering in successive years, with 21 million set to lose coverage in three years by 2020 and 24 million by 2026. In total, by 2026 an estimated 52 million people would be uninsured, nearly double the number who would lack insurance under the current law. And after promises by the Trump Administration that ‘nobody will be worse off financially,’ CBO estimates that premiums – for those who still have coverage – will go up by 15-20 percent. The hypocrisy of this misguided plan continues to grow. This plan will result in more people being uninsured, higher health insurance premiums and ultimately higher health costs.
“Most troubling, is that in the midst of Maryland’s opioid crisis, if this plan were to be enacted, over 289,000 Maryland Medicaid enrollees will no longer have access to essential health benefits like mental health and substance abuse treatments or maternity coverage.”