Nearly every patient group, the American Medical Association, AARP, all 50 state Medicaid directors (NAMD), and insurers agree that this bill would be bad for Americans. “Taken together, the per-capita caps and the envisioned block grant would constitute the largest intergovernmental transfer of financial risk from the federal government to the states in our country’s history,” NAMD’s board of directors wrote in a statement Thursday. Friday afternoon, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) issued a statement saying, “I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal.” This is a very encouraging development, but we must remain vigilant until Graham-Cassidy is defeated and there no longer exists a threat to repeal the ACA.
— KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) (@KFF) September 21, 2017
Not only would this legislation dismantle significant parts of the ACA, but it would also drastically cut health care leaving already money-strapped states to pick up the tab. The block grants are estimated to be $107 billion less than what the federal government would have spent over the period 2020-2026 for ACA coverage. As Kaiser Family Foundation reports, there are winners and losers with the funding formula for the states, and the 31 states that expanded Medicaid will lose significant funding to provide health care to their constituents.
Another concerning aspect of the bill is the fact that the already insufficient block grant funding disappears after 2026. There are so many unknowns about this bill, but one thing is for sure: it would be terrible for patients. Additionally, because Republican leaders are pushing this bill through before the September 30th deadline, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will not have enough time for a full score to determine the impacts of this legislation. Senators will likely be voting on this bill without a full picture of its impacts on our nation’s economy, and they will not know how many millions of Americans will be left without insurance if this bill becomes law.
Because cancer survivors would lose critical patient protections and access to comprehensive and affordable coverage, we strongly oppose the bill. Please contact your Senators at (844) 257-6227 to tell them to vote NO on the Graham-Cassidy bill as it would be harmful to cancer patients and survivors. We need a bipartisan and transparent process to strengthen the ACA and help provide critical long-term stability.
Follow NCCS on Twitter to stay updated on developments: @CancerAdvocacy.