NATIONAL LATINO LEADERS OPPOSE HOUSE BILL TO DISMANTLE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
Coalition calls on Members of Congress to put people ahead of politics and reject the Trump-Ryan plan
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of the nation's 45 leading Latino advocacy organizations, is calling on members of the U.S. House of Representatives to oppose passage of House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump’s American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would repeal and replace significant portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The AHCA is expected to have a negative impact on the 20 million Americans, including 4.2 million Latinos, who gained insurance coverage under the ACA, and will make it more difficult for people in the future to afford quality health care. The ACA improved access to coverage and brought the Latino uninsured rate down to historic lows. Between 2010 and 2015, the overall Latino uninsured rate declined by almost one half, from 30.7 percent to 16.2 percent, the lowest rate ever recorded. An estimated 676,000 Latino children gained coverage as a result of health coverage expansions, and the Latino child uninsured rate saw the largest two-year decline on record (from 11.5 percent to 7.5 percent). The AHCA threatens that progress and ensures that millions of Latinos will lose affordable health care coverage. The MacArthur Amendment to the AHCA further erodes accessibility to affordable health care by allowing health plans to exclude coverage for Essential Health Benefits, such as maternity care and substance abuse treatment, and by allowing those with pre-existing conditions to be charged prohibitively high insurance premiums. The AHCA continues to target Medicaid, which provides coverage for 18 million Latinos, with devastating cuts that will result in millions of people losing access to the health services they need. Meanwhile, the AHCA would repeal many of the taxes in the ACA, such as taxes on high-income earners, drug companies, and insurance companies. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the AHCA’s tax cuts would cost approximately $600 billion and disproportionately benefit wealthy Americans and corporations. “The Trump-Ryan health plan puts tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations ahead of everyone else’s health. The Trump-Ryan plan would increase health insurance costs for working Latino families, making health care unaffordable. This would obliterate the gains we’ve made in covering record numbers of Latinos with health insurance since enactment of the Affordable Care Act,” said Hector Sanchez Barba, Chair of NHLA and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. “For the sake of people’s health and well-being, we call on our elected representatives to put people ahead of politics and reject the disastrous Trump-Ryan plan.” “The AHCA and MacArthur Amendment will devastate the health of our nation as it blocks the working poor, women, and children from Essential Health Benefits like preventive screening, mental health, vision and dental care and would lead to premature death. NHMA will take our doctors to Congress on Friday to voice our concerns,” said Dr. Elena Rios, Co-Chair of NHLA’s Health Committee and President and CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA). “The Republican-led ACA repeal bill continues to be a disastrous excuse of a plan. The new provisions make the already shortsighted and shameful AHCA even worse, and guarantee further roll backs to NHLA’s health priorities. Congress cannot be allowed to gamble with the health of the 17 million Latina women and families who depend on the Essential Health Benefits for guaranteed access to key health services such as cervical cancer screenings and maternity care. Our right to quality healthcare access is not up for debate. We call on Congress to drop their failed bill and stop all attempts to jeopardize Latina’s access to critically important healthcare,” said Jessica González-Rojas, Co-Chair of NHLA’s Health Committee and Latina Task Force and Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.