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Statement on Defeat of the Graham-Cassidy Bill to Repeal the ACA

September 26, 2017

The latest effort to repeal the ACA was defeated just as the CBO released its analysis that millions of persons would lose coverage among other deleterious consequences of the Graham-Cassidy bill. Aside from repealing basic healthcare protections, this effort would have had an enormous impact on caregiving families as it severely limited Medicaid services through block grants, and thus would have curtailed community-based services and supports. Again, advocates from the disability and aging communities rallied protests against policies that would harm those with disabilities, seniors, children, and women. We thank all those who contacted their Senators to voice their concerns about this bill.

While all the Democratic Senators were confirmed “no” votes, we saw Senators John McCain (R-Arizona) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) repeat their earlier voting pattern from previous repeal attempts. We thank them for their votes. We urge Congress to engage in bipartisan efforts to improve the ACA — an effort that the majority of Americans support. All Americans should have affordable health and long-term supports and services in the community. As a nation we need to pull together to make sure that all Americans can be free from worry regarding the care and supports that we — our families, our friends, our neighbors — need.

While this particular bill has died, we must continue to be vigilant about other, more subtle, efforts to undermine the ACA. Cutting funds or limiting access to open enrollment and further attempts to block grant Medicaid to the states, are just two examples of ways to undermine the current ACA provisions.

Yes, it is an exhausting process, but the alternative is unimaginable.

— Kathleen Kelly, Executive Director