Menendez Rallies Against Last-Ditch Trumpcare Proposal with NJ Citizen Action, Labor and Community Leaders

Menendez Rallies Against Last-Ditch Trumpcare Proposal with NJ Citizen Action, Labor and Community Leaders

Latest Senate GOP plan strips coverage from millions of Americans, punishes those with pre-existing conditions, hikes premiums, slashes coverage for women & the disabled, and disproportionately punishes New Jersey

 
NEWARK, N.J
. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee that sets national health policy, and New Jersey Citizen Action today hosted a press conference at Newark City Hall to highlight the widespread negative impacts of Republican’s latest Trumpcare bill.

Flanked by labor leaders, Planned Parenthood representatives, community advocates, and several New Jerseyans who stand to lose coverage, the Senator recommitted to protecting the Affordable Care Act and fighting this proposal on behalf of New Jersey until it is defeated for good. Menendez expressed disappointment in his Republican colleagues for walking away from bipartisan negotiations to improve our healthcare system.  Instead, they are once again choosing to deny the American public an opportunity to see this ill-conceived bill go through regular order consisting of hearings, amendments, and full debate.

“Republicans have spent seven years dragging the ACA through the mud. And even though they pledged to repeal and replace it with something better, every time we get a new Republican repeal plan it is more evident they never had any intention of solving the problems Americans face in our health care system,” said Senator Menendez. “On September 30, 2017 funding expires for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, community health centers face a funding cliff, and the MIECHV program runs out of money. Instead of ensuring critical programs are funded, Republicans are using this last week to rip health care away from hardworking Americans by pushing through a bill and obfuscating the repercussions of their disastrous policy?  The fact is this new Trumpcare bill is still chock full of the same bad ideas that New Jerseyans have rejected time and time again, and we are not going to stop until we kill this latest mean-spirited, right-wing assault on the health and financial security of America’s families.”

 

 

With eight days left to pass their strictly-partisan health care bill, Senate Republicans renewed their effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by releasing a last-ditch bill that would still erode the federal guarantee of coverage for essential health benefits and pre-existing conditions, eviscerate and reallocate Medicaid funding, and leave millions either without insurance or paying more for less coverage. Senate Republican leadership indicated they will force a Senate vote next week.

Specifically, New Jersey stands to be disproportionately punished by this proposal for making significant insurance gains under the ACA by expanding Medicaid. The Republican proposal would take billions away from states like New Jersey and redistribute them to states like Georgia and Alabama who chose not to expand Medicaid under the ACA and take care of their citizens.  

“If Republicans were to pass this disastrous plan, over a half a million New Jerseyans – and 11 million Americans – would lose their Medicaid expansion coverage,” added Menendez. “Because when you slash New Jersey Medicaid funding by billions of dollars, our state will have no choice but to deny care to children with disabilities, to low-income pregnant women, and seniors with long-term care needs like M.S. and Alzheimer’s disease.  That is why no matter how many times they try to saddle families with higher costs, we will stand up, fight back, and vote down Trumpcare.”

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“It’s hard to overstate how devastating this bill could be for New Jersey and the millions across the nation who will lose affordable coverage if it passes,” said Maura Collinsgru, Health Care Program Director New Jersey Citizen Action.  “We’re asking our leaders to stand united against this disastrous bill  and  focus on  how we can build on the progress we’ve achieved and move health care forward, not backward.” 

While the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has indicated it will not have time to release a full score of the bill that includes its effects on insurance coverage before the expected Senate vote, preliminary estimates indicate this latest iteration of Trumpcare will lead to at least 32 million fewer people having health care coverage in 2026.

As was the case with previous versions, thousands of New Jerseyans have made calls to urge their representatives to oppose this bill and unite behind a plan that will preserve the coverage and protections now guaranteed under the ACA.  Menendez has repeatedly called on Senate Republicans to abandon their harmful bills and work with Democrats to improve health care.

“If Planned Parenthood is defunded, millions of people across the country would lose access to the vital preventive reproductive health care services they rely on,” said Christine Sadovy with Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey. “We will not back down until everyone across the country can access the care they need, regardless of their income or their zip code.”

“This plan has most of the worst elements of the other ACA repeal bills and then adds some like taking federal funds from New Jersey and giving it to other mostly red states that chose not to expand Medicaid,” said Ray Castro, Health Policy Director New Jersey Policy Perspective, who today released their analysis of the Graham-Cassidy bill. “It not only would cause unimaginable harm to New Jerseyans, it is grossly unfair.” 

“Medicaid is a lifeline for the majority of our workers,” said Donna Fotiadis, Worker Leader, Our Walmart. Without it many of them would again be uninsured.  The proposed cuts in this bill would be devastating to them and their families.”

Since Republicans began their partisan attack to jam through Trumpcare, Senator Menendez has traveled around the state discussing healthcare with constituents.  He convened a roundtable discussion with leaders of some of New Jersey’s leading health centers to discuss and address their concerns regarding the Health Center Funding Cliff, met with African-American clergy on how to protect the gains their community has seen under the Affordable Care Act, and held a press conference with local and state leaders at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center to discuss the devastating impact the Senate Republican healthcare plan would also have on tackling New Jersey’s opioid crisis and the delivery of care in the state.

The Senator has also met with New Jerseyans who stand to lose their healthcare coverage under the GOP repeal bills.  He heard directly from constituents at the Newark Community Health Center.  Ahead of Mother’s Day, the senator focused on the impact of the Republican healthcare plan on women.  He met patients with preexisting conditions and their families during a recent visit to Hackensack University Medical Center.  In March, the senator discussed the impact of Medicaid cuts with constituents and advocates at the Southern Jersey Family Medical Center (SJFMC), a federally qualified health center in Burlington City.

 

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