Washington, D.C. – The nation’s mayors today expressed strong opposition to the American Health Care Act of 2017.
In January, mayors came together in a bipartisan manner to put forward key principles and in a U.S. Conference of Mayors letter (Jan 25) to Congress that would help protect our nation’s sickest people. The amended legislation passed today does exactly the opposite.
“It is unfortunate that the House today has passed a measure that does not meet the U.S. Conference of Mayors policy and key components of provisions put forth by our membership earlier this year in a bipartisan letter to Congress. This bill puts millions of people in our cities in jeopardy and on behalf of the nation’s mayors, we will now work with the Senate to make sure Americans have access to affordable health coverage,” said Tom Cochran, USCM CEO and Executive Director.
“This health care bill blatantly violates President Trump’s campaign promise that under his administration, more Americans would have better healthcare for less money. It should scare every American that Congress doesn’t know how many people this bill will hurt or what it costs. Unfortunately, estimates are that this bill will be a tragic mistake for tens of millions of families. It eliminates protections for basic health care benefits, resulting in a race to the bottom for health insurance coverage. This means a return of lifetime limits on coverage and the elimination of out-of-pocket cost cap. The bill also rolls back Medicaid expansion that provides coverage to more than 420,000 Louisianans – nearly 1 out of every 10 people in our state. As we enter into this time of uncertainty, I will continue to stand with my fellow Mayors to fight for all Americans,” said USCM New Orleans (LA) Vice President Mitch Landrieu.
“I am disappointed that Congress voted today to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This action will hurt people living with pre-existing conditions, deny access to essential benefits including substance use treatment and recovery services, and trigger large reductions in vital funding to Massachusetts. I stand with our Congressional Delegation in opposing this harmful proposal and vow to continue working to ensure that our residents have access to adequate, affordable health care,” said Boston Mayor Martin Walsh who chairs the USCM Children, Health and Human Services Committee.
“After seven years of complaining, the President and his friends in the House have made Trumpcare even deadlier by effectively tossing out coverage for pre-existing conditions. Eliminating health care for 24 million people to make insurance companies richer and cut taxes for millionaires wasn’t enough: Republicans had to subject the one in two Americans who have pre-existing conditions to losing their healthcare. We’re not going to stand for it. Mayors across the country are organizing and we’ll take this fight to the Senate, where we have strong allies in Senators Schumer and Gillibrand. To House members who voted for this monstrosity, we’ll see you in 2018,” said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio who sits on the USCM Advisory Board.
“Today’s action by the U.S. House could unnecessarily harm senior citizens and patients with preexisting conditions. The Affordable Care Act needs to be repaired, but today’s vote was a step backwards. Increasing consumer competition and choices, while lowering premiums should be the focus of health care reform instead of making it harder for our most vulnerable to receive coverage,” said USCM Trustee Mesa (AZ) Mayor John Giles.
The legislation as passed today would leave countless of millions of Americans without health insurance coverage; allow insurers to charge people more for pre-existing conditions; allow insurers to set spending caps on mental health, substance abuse disorder and other needed services; shift a huge financial burden onto our states; and overly burden seniors and the disabled with higher health-care premiums.
See additional mayoral statements at www.usmayors.org.