USA: Civil and human rights coalition condemns proposed health-care bill

March 17, 2017


The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 200 organizations based in the United States, strongly condemns the new health-care bill proposed by President Trump and his Republican Party, which will replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare). The president and CEO of The Leadership Conference, Wade Henderson, released a statement this week in which he outlines the likely consequences of the proposed bill for specific groups of American citizens.

“As has been widely reported, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has projected that the Republican American Health Care Act would cause 24 million Americans to lose health coverage by 2026. It’s clear that this legislation fails to uphold President Trump’s repeated pledges that changes to the Affordable Care Act would ensure that everyone is covered and that no one would lose their coverage. The Republican proposal would disproportionately harm people of color and underserved populations. Those affected the most include individuals and families living in poverty, people of color, women, seniors, people with disabilities, and immigrants.

The Affordable Care Act has increased the number of people with health insurance to historic highs, with particularly noteworthy gains for Latinos, African Americans, and Native Americans. Medicaid coverage, including the Medicaid expansion, is particularly critical for underserved individuals, and especially people of color and women. Any restructuring, new restrictions, or rollbacks to Medicaid and its expansion could greatly reduce the access to health care for those who rely on the program.

Similarly, the proposal to block all Medicaid patients from receiving care at Planned Parenthood health centers will have a disproportionate effect on poor families and people of color and, according to the Congressional Budget Office, could further jeopardize women’s access to preventive health care. The Republican plan helps the wealthy and hurts most of the rest of us. It will put health coverage out of the reach of millions of low and middle income Americans while putting more money in the pockets of the wealthy. It should be rejected.”

Advocacy letter

On March 23, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with the American Health Care Act. One day before, the Leadership Conference sent an advocacy letter to all Representatives, urging them to oppose the proposed bill: “We urge you to oppose H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act, which would take away health coverage from millions of Americans, particularly those most vulnerable including low-income families, women, and people of color, who have received preventive health care and improved health outcomes as a result of the Affordable Care Act, especially the expansion of Medicaid. We urge you to reject this mean-spirited approach.”

Update March 27, 2017

As the Republicans could not get enough votes in the House of Representatives for the bill to pass, it was withdrawn just minutes before the postponed vote would occur on March 24th. 

Go to The Leadership Conference website

Read the advocacy letter to the House of Representatives