National Consumers League

NCL urges the Senate to reject the Graham-Cassidy bill


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September 25, 2017

Contact: Cindy Hoang, (202) 207-2832, cindyh@nclnet.org

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL), which has been working to support health care for all Americans since our founding in 1899, is strongly opposed to the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Like previous repeal bills rejected by the Senate, this proposed legislation will take health coverage away from an estimated 32 million Americans and decimate our health care system as we know it.

Graham-Cassidy is even more harmful than previous ACA repeal and replace bills. Provisions of the bill include the elimination of cost-sharing reductions that help low-income Americans pay for their coverage, and waivers of key consumer safeguards such as the essential health benefits, minimum coverage requirements, and the non-discrimination clause protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions.

Perhaps most egregious are the massive cuts to Medicaid, which covers 70 million Americans. Medicaid expansion is abruptly nixed, leaving millions of vulnerable patients and consumers without coverage. The shift to a per-capita cap will undoubtedly burden states with a huge financial liability, forcing them to choose between raising taxes to meet funding needs, cutting funding from critical programs such as infrastructure or education, or imposing devastating cuts to Medicaid eligibility, benefits, and coverage for millions. 

The Graham-Cassidy bill also represents yet another attempt to railroad legislation through Congress, absent bipartisanship and public discourse. A bill that would fundamentally change our health care system and affect one-sixth of our economy deserves transparency, and more than a few weeks of debate. NCL agrees with Senator John McCain’s opposition to the bill and his acknowledgment that “we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried.”  Truer words were never spoken. 

NCL joins with Senator McCain in urging the Senate to reject the Graham-Cassidy bill and instead explore bipartisan solutions to strengthen our healthcare system, and particularly support the constructive and bipartisan dialogue led by Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee aimed at stabilizing the insurance market. We will continue to stand alongside our colleagues in the public health and patient advocacy communities to protect access to quality and affordable health care for every American.

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.