GOP’s Senate Healthcare Bill Pits Missouri’s Republicans Vs. Major Health & Patient Advocacy Groups

As Republicans in DC finally unveiled their secret bill in the U.S. Senate to overhaul healthcare last week, major health and patient advocacy groups are rushing to raise stark warnings about how the legislation will slash healthcare, hike costs, devastate rural hospitals, and gut protections for individuals who’ve been sick before and have a pre-existing health condition.

These warnings are directly pitting Missouri’s Republican officeholders in Washington and Jefferson City, who are refusing to speak out, against the interests of older Missourians, hospitals, farmers, doctors, and other key groups dedicated to promoting better healthcare for Americans.

In contrast to Missouri’s Republican officeholders, here’s what major health and patient advocacy groups are saying:

  • AARP: “This new Senate bill was crafted in secrecy behind closed doors without a single hearing or open debate — and it shows. The Senate bill would hit millions of Americans with higher costs and result in less coverage for them.”
  • American Medical Association President and Family Doctor in Rural Missouri David Barbe: “The bill would reduce Medicaid funding and change how the program insures poor Americans…The average household income in my area of Missouri is less than half of the national average. So that lets you know that we depend very heavily on programs such as Medicaid for insurance coverage for many of the people that I take care of in my practice every day.”
  • Missouri Hospital Association: “The funding for Missouri during the implementation period is going to be very difficult for a state that, on a current basis, struggles to pay its Medicaid bill every year.”
  • National Farmers Union: “Cutting Medicaid puts rural hospitals at risk of closure, leaving rural communities with even fewer health care options.”
  • Joint Letter from 117 Missouri Physicians & Medical Students: “It is particularly troubling that the AHCA would undermine state Medicaid programs with the proposed funding caps or block grants and phase out the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion…The economic impact will be especially harmful in rural communities where hospitals and other providers are often the major employers in the community.”
  • Children’s Hospital Association: “Children’s hospitals are unified in calling on the Senate to reject the bill. At its core, the bill is a major step backward for children and their health.”
  • Alliance for Retired Americans: “It will cause harm to millions of older Americans, all for the sake of tax breaks for the wealth.”
  • American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network: “Preliminary analysis of the Senate bill released today shows the proposal could greatly harm millions of cancer patients, survivors and those at risk for the disease.”
  • American Heart Association: “The Senate draft health care bill is literally heartless. If passed it would erode the very patient protections and coverage Americans need the most.”
  • March of Dimes: “The bill released today fails repeatedly to prioritize and promote the needs of pregnant women, babies, and their families. No investment is made in promoting maternal and child health, or in ensuring that moms and infants can get the quality care they need for healthy pregnancies and a strong start in life.”
  • American Hospital Association (AHA): ”We urge the Senate to go back to the drawing board and develop legislation that continues to provide coverage to all Americans who currently have it.”
  • American Academy of Pediatrics: “The bill fails all children by leaving more families uninsured, or without insurance they can afford or that meets their basic needs.”
  • Federation of American Hospitals: “Now is the time for the Senate to hit reset and make key improvements to this legislation.”
  • Association of American Medical Colleges: “We are extremely disappointed by the Senate bill released today. Despite promises to the contrary, it will leave millions of people without health coverage, and others with only bare bones plans that will be insufficient to properly address their needs.”
  • America’s Essential Hospitals: “Senate leaders today have put ideology ahead of lives with a plan that puts health and home at risk for millions of working Americans and that would badly weaken essential services for everyone in communities across the country.”
  • American College of Physicians: “The BCRA would radically change how Medicaid is financed, reduce premium and cost-sharing subsidies for people who most need them in the individual insurance market, and significantly weaken essential consumer protections for the most vulnerable patients.”
  • Consumers Union: “The consequences of the Senate’s legislation are just as dangerous: millions of Americans could lose coverage, consumers would likely pay more out-of-pocket for care and higher premiums for plans that cover less, and Medicaid would be cut off at the knees.”
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