U.S. House repeals Affordable Care Act, replacement plan heads to Senate
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) by a 217-213 vote. The passage of the AHCA will have an overwhelming impact on Colorado children and families. The bill reduces federal Medicaid funding, cutting more than $800 billion nationwide over 10 years, and will result in at least 24 million more uninsured people within a decade. It will put many of our most vulnerable Americans at risk, including children, people with disabilities and pregnant women. And it places a cap on federal funding for Medicaid, blowing a hole in state budgets and leaving state and local taxpayers to foot the bill. The Colorado Health Institute estimated that Colorado would lose $340 million in federal funding in 2020 under the AHCA. By 2030, Colorado would lose a total of $6 billion in federal funding due to the cap on the entire Medicaid program in the AHCA, even without taking into account the AHCA’s phasing out of the Medicaid expansion.
The AHCA also opens the door for insurers to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, putting kids with asthma, diabetes, heart defects and other conditions at risk. The recent addition of $8 billion to help cover those with pre-existing conditions comes nowhere close to covering the cost of care for kids and other individuals suffering from these conditions. The bill even turns back the clock to a time when insurers could deny coverage for life-saving treatments by imposing annual and lifetime caps.
Repealing the Affordable Care Act without an adequate replacement greatly escalates the number of uninsured, leaving millions of children at risk of going without the health care they need to grow up healthy and strong. The AHCA will now move to the U.S. Senate, and we call on our U.S. Senators to stand up for Colorado’s children, seniors, people with disabilities, pregnant women, families and those with pre-existing conditions who will be paying a dangerous price if this devastating bill becomes law.