Statement by National Coalition on Health Care President and CEO John Rother on the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson (GCHJ) ACA repeal proposal in light of yesterday’s analysis by the independent, nonpartisan research firm Avalere
“There’s urgent bipartisan work to be done right now to keep health care affordable, but this proposal just shifts more costs onto consumers, employers, and states.
“The nation needs serious, long-term solutions that actually curb the growing cost of health care and prescription drugs. But instead, this proposal merely shifts $215 billion over ten years from the federal government onto state governments and their taxpayers, according to Avalere’s analysis. The magnitude of that cost-shift swells to more than $4 trillion over the next two decades. Every state but Mississippi will see double digit reductions in federal support for health care, compared to current law.
“States need a reliable federal partnership in order to care for a growing population of high-cost, high-need beneficiaries on Original Medicaid – special needs children, low-income seniors, the disabled, the homeless, and the addicted. But instead, this proposal’s caps would impose $164 billion in Original Medicaid cuts across all fifty states – hamstringing state innovations that keep seniors in their homes and coordinate care for dual eligibles.
“Consumers need competitive private insurance markets with stable premiums and out of pocket costs. But instead, this proposal’s repeal of tax credits and the individual mandate would further spike non-group premiums across all fifty states. The resulting instability would precipitate a chain of events – millions going without coverage, fewer receiving primary care and preventive services, and more hospitals and ERs swamped with uncompensated care. Ultimately, taxpayers, the 170 million Americans with job-based insurance, and their employers would be forced to pick up the bill.
“Right now, Congress ought to be working on bipartisan legislation to meet this month’s deadlines to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program, physician loan repayment programs, and Community Health Centers. But instead, this last ditch partisan campaign to advance Graham-Cassidy is sidelining those efforts – jeopardizing health coverage for children and undermining the providers on the front line in the fight against chronic disease.
“In the strongest possible terms, NCHC implores the House and Senate to return to the search for common ground approaches to our health care affordability challenges.”