One Year after House “Trumpcare” Vote, Democratic Health Leaders Call on Speaker Ryan to Allow Vote on Bill to Strengthen Health Care System
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the three House Democratic leaders of the Committees with jurisdiction over health care, Education and the Workforce Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA), Ways and Means Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA), and Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) urging him to allow a vote on legislation that would help improve the affordability and accessibility of health care in the United States. The Undoing Sabotage and Expanding Affordability of Health Insurance Act of 2018, H.R. 5155, helps stabilize the health care markets, makes coverage more affordable, and reverses harmful policies that the Trump administration and congressional Republicans have implemented to undermine the U.S. health care system.
“Medical associations, hospital associations, patient and consumer groups, and even insurance companies have expressed serious concerns that President Trump’s and Congressional Republicans’ actions will have serious consequences for the health care of millions of Americans,” wrote the members. “The administration’s actions, coupled with Republican-led legislation, have destabilized the health care markets, resulting in skyrocketing premiums and a significant increase in the number of uninsured Americans.”
May 4, 2018 marks one year since Republicans in the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), legislation that would have caused 23 million Americans to lose health insurance, increased out-of-pocket costs for millions of families, punished people with pre-existing conditions, and made massive cuts to Medicaid. The bill failed to pass the Senate.
In their letter, Scott, Neal, and Pallone reminded Ryan that, “Just this week, the Commonwealth Fund found that an estimated 4 million people have lost coverage since 2016,” and cited former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price’s recent comment that we can expect further premium increases as result of the Republican tax law’s repeal of the individual mandate.
“We believe we should be working across the aisle to strengthen health insurance and consumer affordability and access,” the members added. “Even Congressional Republicans have expressed support for measures to stabilize the market to help it weather the blows from recent actions.”
Full text of the letter is available here.