Congressman Nadler Statement in Opposition to Graham-Cassidy Health Care Repeal Bill

Sep 20, 2017 Issues: Health Care

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who represents parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, released the following statement against the Graham-Cassidy health care repeal bill, which Senate Republicans are proposing in their latest attempt to get rid of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Congressman Nadler's statement can be found below:

“The Graham-Cassidy health care repeal bill would be devastating to millions of American families. In a desperate, last gasp effort to pass something – anything – from their agenda, the Republicans have come up with possibly their cruelest plan yet.

“This bill would eliminate all health insurance subsidies and all funding for the Medicaid expansion and replace them with a block grant that is woefully underfunded for the actual costs of providing care. That money would then be divided among all 50 states, resulting in massive transfers of federal funding. States like New York—which followed the law, expanded Medicaid and set up their own insurance marketplaces—would end up with massive cuts in funding. New York State would either have to raise its own taxes or leave millions uninsured. States that didn’t follow the ACA and refused to expand Medicaid, however, would see a massive influx of federal funding.

“Why should states who left their most vulnerable populations with no access to Medicaid or other affordable health insurance options now be rewarded with billions of dollars in new funding, when New York State would lose $18.9 billion?! Furthermore, every state will lose when this new block grant abruptly ends in 2026, sending us all over a $300 billion cliff.

“But the money is just one problem with Graham-Cassidy, which strips away nearly all the consumer protections we fought so hard for in the ACA. The bill allows states to waive protections for pre-existing conditions, which will make premiums skyrocket for anyone who has been sick before. If you have ever been pregnant, your premium could go up above $17,000. Breast cancer? Nearly $29,000. Asthma? Over $4,000. Depression? More than $8,000. And even if you could somehow pay those premiums, the legislation would allow states to lift the ban on annual and lifetime limits, meaning your insurance would stop paying any benefits just when you need it most. The bill also allows states to stop requiring coverage of essential benefits, meaning you would have to pay out of pocket for your prescription drugs, maternity care, cancer care, or emergency room visits.

“The ramming through of this horrible bill, coupled with the Republican/Trump Administration’s threat to allow the ACA marketplaces to fall into chaos if it doesn’t pass, make it clear that the GOP is perfectly happy to play politics with people’s lives. I am sickened by the thought that my colleagues would so callously disregard the millions of Americans who rely on the Affordable Care Act.

“We must not go back to a time when insurance companies decided who lived and who died, when people suffered and died with treatable diseases because they couldn’t afford insurance or the insurance they could afford wouldn’t cover their basic needs. We must not return to a time when Congress turned its back on the sickest, most vulnerable people in this country and refused to help them. We must not return to a time when political expediency meant more than American lives. We must do all we can to stop this latest Republican effort to throw our health care system into disarray and leave millions of people without affordable health care.”