The Senate’s version of the healthcare bill is called the “Better Care Reconciliation Act”. But in one important respect there isn’t anything better about it. It wouldn’t just undo Obamacare – it would gut Medicaid, a social insurance program that for decades has provided a safety net for a wide swath of low- and middle-income Americans.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Senate bill would take Medicaid away from close to 22 million people by 2026. And who are these people? Here are the numbers as reported by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation:
- 9 million children who have special needs, such as those who are autistic or suffer from chronic diseases such as cystic fibrosis and spina bifida
- 9 million working age adults suffering from disabilities brought on by conditions such as diabetes, traumatic injuries and respiratory disorders
- 10 million elderly people, including over half of those living in nursing homes, and others who rely on long-term home care
In May we voiced our opposition to the healthcare bill passed by the House of Representatives, which we said at the time would not improve health outcomes for most Americans – and would be catastrophic for the low-income clients we serve. Today we object just as strenuously to what the Senate announced this week.