Statewide experts weighed in on the U.S. Senate's health care bill that was unveiled Thursday and its potential effects on New Jersey.
“The new Senate health care bill shows a callous disregard to the well-being of millions of American families.
“Amid a deep partisan rift, we have sadly lost sight of those who would be most affected by this measure and its radical changes to the Medicaid program:
“The ironically named Better Care Reconciliation Act would in fact be far worse for patients and our nation’s health care system. Without health insurance, access to primary and preventive care is threatened, returning us to the days when the uninsured had few options but to use the emergency room for all their health care needs. That’s not better for the patient.
“The emergency room is the most intense, and expensive, level of care in our health care delivery system. Using the ER as our health care safety net is not better for our health care system.
“And shifting the costs of the Medicaid program from the federal government to the states is not better for New Jersey patients or taxpayers.”
“It is difficult to comment on the just-released Senate health care repeal bill without expressing amazement at its inhumanity. As many have said before, it is clearly a tax cut for the wealthy and insurers disguised as a health care bill.”
The association said New Jersey would lose billions in federal funding and 54,000 New Jerseyans would lose their jobs under this bill. The latest estimate of New Jerseyans who would lose their health insurance stands at 540,000.
“Senate Republicans negotiated this bill in the dark, and that’s where it should have stayed. When you think about what it would do to millions of American families — taking away their health coverage, raising their costs, gutting their protections, like those for pre-existing conditions — it’s unconscionable that anyone would support this bill. We hear a lot about Republicans keeping their promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but at what cost? Trumpcare is fatally flawed. Republicans need to come to the table with Democrats and make improvements to the law, not destroy it and inflict harm on millions.”
“Senate Republicans are deceitfully calling this bill ‘better care,’ but it’s actually ‘badder care.’ It’s not any better; in fact, it’s not even care at all. This plan is still a tax break for the very wealthy disguised as ‘care’ for American families. Similar to the harmful bill that passed the House, this plan drastically reduces essential and preventative care for millions of families. It again turns its back on our children, women, seniors and our neighbors struggling with the disease of addiction. A handful of male Senators sat behind closed doors to decide the fate of millions of Americans. And, unfortunately, the fate of American families is not looking good today.”
“After weeks of backroom dealing, Sen. (Mitch) McConnell has finally made public the Senate Republican’s secret health care bill — and it’s no wonder they kept it behind closed doors for so long. This mean-spirited proposal is not substantively different from the moral monstrosity that Speaker (Paul) Ryan rammed through the House last month. The Senate’s Trumpcare bill would still rip health care away from millions of Americans, could strip protections for people with pre-existing conditions and allow insurance companies to charge older Americans five times more for coverage than younger Americans. The Senate bill also makes similarly devastating cuts to Medicaid in order to give giant tax breaks to the wealthiest few. The Medicaid cuts would ration care for more than 70 million Americans, the overwhelming majority of whom are seniors in nursing homes, pregnant women and children. This is a heartless proposal. The American people deserve better than a Congress that is willing to trade away their health care for tax cuts for the rich and corporations.”
“The Senate bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act is nothing more than a warmed-over version of the House bill, which would cause great harm to the health and economic security of hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans. The Senate proposal revealed today retains all the major provisions in the House bill that would harm New Jerseyans the most — and, in some cases, makes even deeper cuts.
“The bill would cause New Jersey’s uninsurance rate to skyrocket. (We will not have the final estimate until the Congressional Budget Office completes its analysis, but the phase-out of the Medicaid expansion alone would cause the number of uninsured to increase by up to 400,000.)
“Specifically, the bill: