ACA Replacement Takes Us Farther from Healthcare for All
January 26, 2017
Over the past few weeks, members of Congress have heard our voices loud and clear. Thanks to over 10,000 calls from NETWORK members and people of faith in all 50 states, Senators know that it is not okay to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a replacement in place. Such a move would recklessly play politics with people’s lives and threaten access to healthcare for millions of Americans with no reassurance of an adequate replacement.
We are grateful that many Republican Senators have spoken out and urged their party to come up with a replacement plan before they repeal the ACA. Our calls and engagement helped make this happen. Last week, we met with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), and appreciate her role as a voice of reason reigning in partisanship and ideological extremism to search for common ground. On Monday, Senator Collins and Senator Cassidy (R-LA) introduced the Patient Freedom Act of 2017 to advance the conversation of how to constructively move the discussion forward.
While we welcome the replacement proposal, we have said from the start that any replacement must be suitable and build on the progress of the ACA. We would only support a replacement or reform that is equitable, insures just as many or more Americans, and is more affordable for people. Our faith teaches that healthcare is a human right, and we would not support any replacement plan that takes coverage away from people or leaves people experiencing poverty or sickness out in the cold.
The ACA has provided over 20 million Americans with access to healthcare, promoted racial and gender equity in our healthcare system, and improved the lives and quality of coverage of many more. More Americans have health insurance than at any point in our nation’s history, and now is not the time to go backward. While we are glad that Senate Republicans have proposed a plan, the so-called Patient Freedom Act does not meet our criteria for a replacement we could support. It does not take care of those at the economic margins of our society, and many people covered under the ACA would not be able to keep their coverage. More people would be left without access to quality, affordable healthcare.
We call on Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell to slow down their fast-track process of repealing the ACA and to give the American people the time they deserve to examine the best way forward. This healthcare policy will impact almost every family and will have even greater implications for those experiencing poverty and vulnerability, so we owe it to all of our sisters and brothers to take a look at this policy, analyze it, and have our voices heard. We also call on you, our partners and fellow advocates, to share your story and perspective with us and with your elected officials.
- Continue to call your elected officials with NETWORK’s Action Hotline:
- Senate: 1-888-897-9753
- House: 1-888-738-3058
- Join our Text Advocacy List by texting “Protect Our Care” to 877877
- Share your healthcare story with NETWORK by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Learn more about the Patient Freedom Act http://www.cbpp.org/blog/senators-aca-replacement-wont-likely-give-states-patients-the-choices-they-seek