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  WINDY CITY TIMES

AHCA pulled from vote, ACLU and HRC applaud the outcome
From a press release
2017-03-24

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From the ACLU

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives today decided not to vote on the American Health Care Act ( AHCA ).

American Civil Liberties Union National Political Director Faiz Shakir issued the following statement:

"Democracy triumphed today. President Trump made the best move of his presidency so far by telling Speaker Ryan not to hold a vote on a terrible and unpopular health care repeal bill. Americans made their voices heard loud and clear, and politicians are listening.

"The people have spoken and they said 'no' to this dangerous agenda. They said 'no' to blocking access to Planned Parenthood, 'no' to more restrictions on abortion coverage, 'no' to slashing Medicaid and forcing people with disabilities into institutions, and 'no' to gutting essential health benefits like maternity and mental health care.

"It's clear that millions of Americans have embraced progress and do not want to go back. It's time for Congress and the Trump administration to move on and focus on ideas that actually improve our lives — not those that target vulnerable communities and roll back essential rights for millions of Americans."

ACLU activists sent 213,733 emails to their representatives in the House and Senate demanding they reject the repeal of the ACA.

The AHCA would have repealed key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including the requirement that plans cover basic services like maternity and mental health care. The repeal bill would also have cut off access to Planned Parenthood, fundamentally restructured the Medicaid program in ways that cause great harm to people with disabilities, and imposed new abortion coverage restrictions, among other issues. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that enacting the legislation would have resulted in 24 million people losing health insurance coverage by 2026 and $880 billion in Medicaid cuts over the next decade.

This statement is online here: www.aclu.org/news/aclu-statement-failure-pass-ahca .

From HRC, Disastrous American Health Care Act Pulled From Vote; Thousands of LGBTQ People Will Retain Health Care

WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, released the following statement after Speaker of the House Paul Ryan pulled the American Health Care Act (AHCA) from consideration by the House of Representatives. The Congressional Budget Office projected that the provisions of the legislation would result in 14 million Americans losing their health insurance by 2018, and skyrocketing to 24 million by 2026.

"Today is a win for the thousands of LGBTQ Americans who will retain live-saving health care under the Affordable Care Act. The Republican proposal would have ripped away care from millions of people, with a particularly devastating impact on low-income senior citizens, women, children, LGBTQ people, people living with HIV and others," said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. "This move is an example of the power of constituents and their stories, which weighed heavily on Members of Congress. Thankfully, Members did not turn their backs on the very people they represent."

The AHCA would have undermined core provisions of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a result of the ACA, thousands of low-income people living with HIV have been able to obtain health insurance through the Medicaid expansion. This critical coverage ensures that people living with HIV have access to lifesaving treatments. The AHCA's drastic changes to Medicaid would have stripped these people, and other vulnerable populations, of essential healthcare coverage.

The tax credit structure embedded in the proposed health care act would have left thousands of low-income individuals and families without coverage due to cost increases. Systemic discrimination of LGBTQ Americans has historically contributed to the community having some of the lowest rates of insurance coverage in the nation. This trend is reversing as a result of the Affordable Care Act. The LGBTQ community has benefitted from the ACA's tax credit structure and the Medicaid expansion, and the rescission of both of these critical components would have had devastating consequences for a community already facing significant health care disparities.

Beyond repealing these key provisions of the ACA, the AHCA would have also cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which could jeopardize the ability of clinics to deliver preventive health services critical for the LGBTQ community, including HIV testing and transition-related care. The ACA's public health and prevention fund, established to expand investments in the nation's public health infrastructure, would also be repealed. Health centers, like those operated by Planned Parenthood, often offer the only culturally competent healthcare available, especially in rural and isolated areas.

In considering the ACA in 2009 and 2010, the House held 79 hearings over the course of a year, heard from 181 witnesses and accepted 121 amendments. The current House leadership moved this unacceptable repeal and replacement legislation through the House in a matter of weeks with no hearings or meaningful debate. The Senate adopted the ACA only after approximately 100 hearings, roundtables, walkthroughs and other meetings, and after 25 consecutive days in continuous session debating the bill.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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