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PRESS STATEMENT

House Health Care Bill Halted and Health Coverage Gains Protected for Now

Bill to cut Medicaid funding and reduce premium tax credits would have been devastating to Latino children, seniors, and families

March 24, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In response to the House Republican leadership’s decision to pull the “American Health Care Act” (AHCA) from a vote today, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) thanked those members of Congress who stood against a bill that would have gutted our nation’s health insurance system and forced millions of Americans to lose coverage. However, they also cautioned against future threats. More than 20 million Americans gained health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Latino community made historic gains between 2013, when the ACA was implemented, and 2015, when more than four million Latino adults and 600,000 Latino children obtained coverage.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that under the AHCA, 24 million Americans would have lost their health insurance by 2026, and federal Medicaid funding would have been reduced by $880 billion over the next 10 years.

“The people spoke out and won the day, but it is unlikely this fight is over. We are committed to continue pushing for policies that benefit the health and well-being of our children and families,” said Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO.

Among the numerous harmful provisions, the House GOP proposal would have:

  • Slashed Medicaid spending by $880 billion over the next 10 years, crippling the program and ending Medicaid as we know it. More than 70 million Americans, including 18 million Latinos, rely on Medicaid, and around half of all Medicaid enrollees are children.
  • Repealed the ACA’s Medicaid expansion provision, blocking a pathway for 11 million low-income adults who gained coverage in the 32 states that chose to expand. As of 2015, more than three million Latino adults have gained coverage through state Medicaid expansions.
  • Replaced the ACA’s system of flexible tax credits, which help make health coverage attainable for millions of working families, with a flat tax credit that would increase consumer costs by an estimated $1,700, on average.

The ACA has ushered in historic coverage gains for the Latino community. The overall Latino uninsured rate declined by one-third between 2013 and 2015 thanks to the ACA, and the Latino child uninsured rate saw the largest two-year decline on record, dropping from 11.5 percent to 7.5 percent, according to a recent report by NCLR and the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. Latinos have expressed strong support for the ACA and back efforts to improve—not repeal—the law. In a NCLR/Latino Decisions health poll released late last year, 70 percent of Latino voters expressed support for the ACA.

“Today’s outcome is a clear testament to the power of our collective voice. The tenacious outpouring of efforts by those in the field, including phone calls, public testimonies, and rallies demonstrates the influence we can have when we take strategic action. And we cannot let up. We must continue applying pressure and make it abundantly clear to this administration and Congress that we will fight tooth and nail to protect health care for those who desperately need it,” said Murguía.

NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to build a stronger America by creating opportunities for Latinos. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact:
Camila Gallardo
cgallardo@nclr.org
(305) 215-4259