Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) today issued the following statement in response to the draft GOP’s measure to replace the current healthcare law:
“Upon review of the recently released GOP Affordable Care Act repeal and replacement plan, we are very concerned that the new bill has been issued without knowing how much it will cost or how many people it will cover. By skipping the major step of having the plan scored by the Congressional Budget Office before the committees begin their consideration, we are left in the dark as to how this plan will impact not only our residents, but also city budgets.
“The nation’s mayors have been clear and consistent in our call for a plan that maintains the patient protections that enjoy bipartisan support in the current healthcare law. More than 130 mayors across the country from both sides of the political spectrum agree that Americans with insurance should not lose it and that those who want insurance should be able to afford it.
“The effects of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be most heavily felt at the local level, so it is our responsibility to protect the citizens of our cities and metro areas. The new GOP plan is bad for cities, bad for people who live in cities and bad for people who provide healthcare in cities.
“While we are pleased to see that many of the key provisions contained in our bipartisan letter to Congressional leaders are included in the bill, we remain opposed to restructuring Medicaid as a per-capita cap or block grant program.
“The GOP bill proposes to keep the Medicaid expansion in place until 2020 and begins a process to phase out expansion completely. The bill slashes state funding for Medicaid and strips away protections for the most vulnerable. As a result, states will be forced to end coverage and eliminate health care services for low-income seniors, people with disabilities, children and working families. The overwhelming majority of these Americans live in our cities.
“We maintain that healthcare is not a privilege; it is a human right. We visited with lawmakers on Capitol Hill last week to share our concerns; and mayors urge every member of Congress, both in the House and Senate, to take time to understand the impact that the current bill will have on millions of Americans and to guarantee that no American loses health coverage as a part of repeal and replacement.”