Health Care Reform

  • Since its passage in 2010, critics of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) have vowed to repeal and replace it. On May 4, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act to repeal the ACA and many of its protections. Fully released on May 23, 2017, President Trump’s FY18 budget proposal features draconian cuts to many social safety net programs, including health care programs like Medicaid, and drastic changes to the Affordable Care Act. On June 22, 2017, the Senate released their version of health care reform, which repealed important provision in the Affordable Care Act and proposed capping and cutting funding for Medicaid.

    Medicaid provides affordable, and in many cases free, insurance to low-income people across the country. 20 percent of people in the U.S. are covered by either Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Medicaid also covers 2 in 5 children and 2 in 5 people with disabilities. 22 million people are at risk of  losing their insurance in the proposed Senate health care bill.

    The Affordable Care Act gives consumers important protections in the private insurance market, gives states the option to expand Medicaid to low-income adults, ends the insurance practice of denying coverage to patients with pre-existing conditions, provides new benefits to Medicare beneficiaries, and strengthens the Medicare trust fund. More than 10 million non-elderly adults gained health insurance coverage between October 2013 and June 2014.

    While the improvements contained in the Affordable Care Act are positive first steps, many Americans, including many immigrant families, do not have access to coverage. The proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act, in addition to changes to social safety health care, will increase uninsured rates, make quality health care more expensive, and exacerbate financial burdens on low-income families with children, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

    For more information on this issue, visit CHN’s Public Policy Priorities, 2017-2018.

    Read CHN’s statements about the Senate’s June 22, 2017 health care repeal proposal here and the May 4th passage of the House health care repeal bill here.

     Advocacy Organizations

    Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs
    Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
    Families USA