A non-partisan group of 18 patient, provider, and consumer groups, representing millions of Americans, issued the following statement today in response to the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) score of the Graham-Cassidy bill:
"The rush to bring the Graham-Cassidy bill to the floor has pushed the CBO to present an incomplete picture of this legislation's impact. This new score is similar to the one CBO gave to the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). It forecasts that millions would lose health insurance while in some states, older individuals and those with pre-existing conditions would pay more for less comprehensive coverage.
Multiple non-partisan firms have recently released analyses of Graham-Cassidy, which confirmed our worst fears – the fallout for patients would be devastating. According to one study, as many as 32 million Americans would lose their health insurance under this proposal, with 15 million losing coverage in the first full year after enactment. Previous CBO analyses of similar proposals estimated that 50 percent of the U.S. population could live in a state that allows insurers to charge higher premiums to people with serious health conditions and no longer guarantees coverage services included in the essential health benefits package.
The Graham-Cassidy proposal has yet to see floor action but has already derailed promising bi-partisan legislation, such as the reauthorization of the lifesaving Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the bipartisan insurance market stabilization efforts in the Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. These important pieces of legislation have been sacrificed for yet another partisan health bill devoid of patient input or public support.
Once again, we call on the Senate to reject this bill and preserve and improve our health care system. Our organizations stand ready to work with Congress to draft meaningful legislation to improve access to affordable, adequate health coverage."
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
American Diabetes Association
American Heart Association
American Liver Foundation
American Lung Association
Crohns & Colitis Foundation
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Lutheran Services in America
March of Dimes
Muscular Dystrophy Association
National Health Council
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Volunteers of America
WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.