September 21, 2017

Delaware’s leaders are right: Graham-Cassidy is wrong for America

Press Release

This morning, Delaware’s leaders stood united in opposition to the Graham-Cassidy health care bill that’s set to be rushed through Congress as early as next week. 

U.S. Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons were joined by Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro and Delaware Health & Social Services Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker in outlining the shortcomings in the GOP’s latest Repeal & Replace plan, highlighting many of the ways it would hurt Delawareans. 

“Republicans are trying to force their bill through the Senate in the cloak of darkness, without a review by the Congressional Budget Office and without any proper hearings or debate,” said Delaware Democratic Party Chairman Erik Raser-Schramm. “They couldn’t lie their way through previous repeal efforts, so now they seem to just be whistling past the graveyard in the hopes that Americans aren’t paying attention. But we are.”

Indeed, health care experts from across the country are issuing dire warnings about the damage Graham-Cassidy would inflict on the health care marketplace if it becomes law. The statistics are sobering: 

  • 32 million – As many as 32 million people could lose their health insurance after 2026.
  • 15 million – At least 15 million people would lose their coverage in the next year alone.
  • $4.1 trillion – States are projected to lose as much as $4.1 trillion in federal health care funding over the next two decades.
  • 20 percent – Average premiums could increase by 20 percent, if not more, in the next year alone.
  • $16,174 – According to AARP, a 60-year old making $25,000 could have to pay $16,174 more per year for the same coverage they have today.
  • 31 percent – Federal funding for children who receive Medicaid coverage would be cut by 31 percent over the next two decades.
  • 15 percent – Federal funding for people with disabilities who receive Medicaid coverage would be cut by 15 percent over the next two decades.
  • 0 – Guaranteed protections for people with preexisting conditions would be gutted.

Aiding and abetting Senate Republicans has been President Trump, who has threatened to sabotage the country’s health insurance markets by withholding cost sharing reductions (CSRs) – federal payments that health insurance companies rely on to keep coverage affordable.  Doing so would devastate some of our most vulnerable communities, directly impacting thousands of Delawareans (and millions of Americans). CSR payments help keep coverage affordable for more than 24,000 Delawareans, nearly half of which benefit directly from federal CSR payments.

“Republicans know this bill is bad for America. Iowa's ChuckGrassley even says he can find ‘10 reasons why the bill shouldn’t be considered,’” said Raser-Schramm. “But they’re forging ahead anyway because they’re more worried about fulfilling seven years of promises to undo President Obama’s legacy than they are working with Democrats on improving the ACA and preserving coverage for all Americans.”