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McCollum Updates Fourth District on House Republicans' Disastrous Health Care Bill

March 10, 2017
Press Release

Congresswoman Betty McCollum sent the following newsletter to Fourth District citizens on Friday, March 10 about House Republicans' disastrous health care bill and her work to protect health care for families in Minnesota and throughout the United States:

Dear Neighbor:

The Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives this week unveiled a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Instead of considering this major legislation under a process that is open and transparent for the American people, House Republicans are trying to quickly jam this controversial bill through Congress.

Despite neither holding public hearings nor giving the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) enough time to determine the bill's cost or its consequences for the American people, Republicans have already passed this legislation through two House committees.

Even without a complete analysis, we know that this Republican “repeal and replace” bill is devastating for millions of children, families, seniors, and people with disabilities across the United States. Minnesotans and Americans are rightly concerned.

I am completely committed to standing united with my Democratic colleagues and advocates for patients, health care providers, and families to stop Republicans from reducing, stripping away, or denying health care coverage to Americans.

If enacted, this legislation will lead to disastrous outcomes:

Millions more Americans will be uninsured. The GOP bill replaces the tax credits that help millions of Americans pay for health insurance. It also effectively terminates Medicaid expansion, cutting coverage for millions more. The nonpartisan Brookings Institution estimates that at least 15 million more Americans will lose coverage.

Higher costs for families and older Americans. The GOP bill will increase out-of-pocket costs for premiums and deductibles by hundreds or thousands of dollars. Protections that limit what insurance companies can charge older Americans will be severely weakened.

Rationed care for millions of seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income Americans on Medicaid. The GOP bill caps Medicaid payments, leading to reduced or rationed care for seniors with long-term care needs, people with disabilities, pregnant women, and vulnerable children.

A weaker Medicare. In order to slash taxes for billionaires, the GOP bill cuts vital funding streams for Medicare shortening the life of the Medicare Trust Fund.

Attacks on women’s health care and defunding of Planned Parenthood. The GOP bill includes restrictions on comprehensive health coverage and defunds health care at Planned Parenthood.

Massive tax giveaways to billionaires. The GOP bill gives the 400 highest-income taxpayers annual tax cuts averaging about $7 million each. A headline in the St. Paul Pioneer Press summed it up: “The GOP health bill adds up to tax cut for the rich.”

Healthcare professionals, patient advocates, and experts have rejected this disastrous legislation. Leading organizations representing America’s hospitals, doctors, nurses, patients, and families all strongly oppose this Republican hijacking of health care.

Most importantly, I have heard from Fourth District constituents — our friends, neighbors, and co-workers — whose lives are better because of the Affordable Care Act. I support making needed reforms and improvements to that law to ensure that every American has affordable, quality health care.

This Republican bill does not do that. Instead, their proposal takes us backwards. It causes real harm to tens of millions of Americans and does nothing to make health care better or more affordable.

Now is the time to speak out. To protect our health care, Minnesotans and Americans must stand together. We must work together to defeat this backwards Republican bill.

Betty McCollum