Seven Years Later, Republicans Still Have No Alternative Plan But Seek To Dismantle Landmark Health Care Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 4, 2017

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Zandra Rice Hawkins, (603) 225-2471

Seven Years Later, Republicans Still Have No Alternative Plan But Seek To Dismantle Landmark Health Care Law

Granite State Progress Statement on U.S. Senate Taking First Step to Repeal Landmark Affordable Care Act

CONCORD, NH –Statement from Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins on today’s U.S. Senate budget vote to begin dismantling the Affordable Care Act:

“It’s been nearly seven years since the Affordable Care Act passed. Families no longer have to worry about being denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, or being dropped from insurance coverage if we get sick. More people are covered and tax credits are available for families and small businesses.  There are improvements that can be made as with any program, but that’s not what the vote in the Senate was about. The same politicians who opposed health care reform then are rushing to dismantle it now, and yet they still have no replacement plan. The reason Republicans have no alternative is that every plan they’ve come up with threatens to take away our health coverage, hike our costs, and return us to the days when insurance companies could put profits before people.”

“Congress needs to work together to improve the Affordable Care Act so it works better for everyone, not tear the whole thing down and destabilize the entire health care system. This is what real consumer health advocates are trying to do, and it’s why we were able to pass a health reform plan in the first place.”

Republicans Have No Plan in Place

2013: “Former House Speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich reprimanded his fellow Republicans in unusually harsh terms Wednesday, blaming GOP members of Congress for developing “zero” alternatives to President Obama’s health care reform law … “I will bet you, for most of you, you go home in the next two weeks when your members of Congress are home, and you look them in the eye and you say, ‘What is your positive replacement for Obamacare?’ They will have zero answer,” Gingrich said.” (CNN, Gingrich: Republicans have ‘zero’ health care ideas, August 14, 2013)

2013: “Republicans have circulated quite a few bills and ideas over the years, but there is almost nothing in most of the GOP proposals that directly addresses quality of care. As far as costs, most of the proposals have winners and losers. Some of the bills would make health care more affordable for certain individuals, and tort reform and the expansion of health savings accounts could bend the cost curve down slightly. Elements of Johnson’s claim are at least partially accurate, but in the aggregate, the plans are far from substantial. We rate his statement Half True.” (Politifact: Half-True: Republicans have proposed many solutions to control health care costs and improve quality, November 26, 2013)

2017: “Republican leaders are considering a “repeal and delay” approach of preventing the repeal from going into effect for two or three years. This transition period would buy lawmakers some time to figure out a replacement plan, but already, insurance companies are balking at the uncertainty that this scenario would create. GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander, the chairman of the Senate Health Committee, has gone as far as to say that it would be a mistake to repeal Obamacare before Republicans craft a replacement.” (CNN, Senate Republicans take first step to repeal Obamacare, January 4, 2017)

Data: According to a recent study by the Urban Institute, around 29.8 million people would lose health insurance coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, including 118,000 in New Hampshire. (Urban Institute: Implications of Partial Repeal of the ACA through Reconciliation, December 6, 2016)

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Granite State Progress is a multi-issue advocacy organization focused on issues of immediate state and local concern. Granite State Progress works as a communications hub for the progressive community to provide a strong, credible voice in advancing progressive solutions to critical community problems. Online at www.GraniteStateProgress.org