In an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), what is widely known as Obamacare, Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy have drafted a bill that would eliminate and or alter major sections of the health care law. Ultimately restructuring the way in which the federal government provides health care assistance to 80 million Americans.
According to DNC deputy press secretary Brian Gabriel, President Trump’s refusal to fund the ACA’s in-person outreach fund would prevent Blacks from gaining coverage.
“As one of the more disrespectful riffs in his campaign trail speeches, Trump would infamously ask African-Americans, ‘What the hell do you have to lose?’ As it turns out, affordable health care for millions of previously uninsured Black Americans would be at the top of that very long list,” he said.
Gabriel goes on to say the Graham-Cassidy repeal bill would cause nation-wide damage to the overall well-being of Black families.
“Yet Trump and his Republicans are committed to voting on this bill regardless of how many Americans would be hurt,” said Gabriel. “The President and his puppets in Congress continue to show us that they care more about vindictively tearing down an Obama-era law than about making health care more affordable and accessible.”
What would be eliminated from Obamacare?
The expansion of Medicaid, cost-sharing subsidies, tax credits, and individual and employer mandate. The eliminations could also lead to price restrictions for older Americans.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, as of March 2016, 28 percent of non-elderly Blacks and 57 percent of Black children in the U.S. have relied on Medicaid and CHIP.
Huffington Post stated, Black women will lose the most if the ACA is repealed.
“This demographic is more susceptible to diabetes, uterine fibroids, obesity, high-blood pressure, domestic abuse and sexual assault than any other,” said Huffington Post. “Many Black women also have children who depend on them for their health care, since Black women are more likely to be sole providers for their household.”
Supporters of the Graham-Cassidy proposal say the bill will give states more flexibility in deciding how to provide healthcare assistance to their residents and could lead to “designing better locally controlled systems.”
In order to pass the bill, Republicans will need 50 votes. As of press time, Senator Rand Paul and John McCain have refused to support the bill. If one more senator votes no, the bill will be considered dead. Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are undecided however; they voted against the GOP’s last attempt to repeal the ACA.
Should the Graham-Cassidy bill not pass, Republicans will find it harder to repeal and replace the ACA. If the Senate fails to vote by September 30, the push to end the ACA will lose “special protections” under Senate rules. Instead of the bill passing with a “simple majority,” it will need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.
A hearing on the bill has been scheduled by the Senate Finance Committee for Monday, September 25. Until then, Americans must wait and hope for the best.
“Republicans’ latest version of Trumpcare is truly catastrophic. It would callously destroy protections for people with pre-existing conditions, eliminate essential health benefits, and reinstate the dreaded lifetime and annual limits on care,” said Congresswoman Maxine Waters. “I call upon my Republican colleagues in both the Senate and the House to stop trying to rob American families of their health coverage and start working with Democrats to pass bipartisan legislation that will give the American people the quality, affordable health care they deserve.”