WASHINGTON, May 4, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The below is a statement from John Auerbach, president and CEO, of Trust for America's Health (TFAH).
"As historic as the passage of the Affordable Care Act was, any passage of the American Health Care Act will be just as infamous.
Tens of millions of American citizens will lose coverage. And millions of people on private insurance and Medicaid may lose access to life- and cost-saving clinical preventive services.
In particular, the Meadows-MacArthur Amendment would permit states to eliminate the requirement around essential health benefits (EHBs) and allow for the discrimination of people with pre-existing conditions.
Research tells us time and again two truths: Americans with coverage of preventive services are more likely to access these services and investing in preventive services improves health and reduces costs, yielding massive returns on investment.
Additionally, the agencies responsible for keeping us safe daily from ever-increasing public health threats will have their budgets slashed.
If the bill eventually becomes law, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will lose 12 percent of its budget, of which a significant portion—$625 million a year—goes directly to state and local health departments.
This is a double whammy to the nation's health.
Every day, the CDC and local public health departments are on the front lines in preventing disease outbreaks like Zika and Ebola, in protecting our children from lead poisoning, in lowering rates of heart disease, in stopping epidemics like prescription drug misuse and in helping people quit tobacco.
If the bill eventually passes, the results won't be celebrated—they'll be infamous.
We will likely see more overdoses and untreated STDs, rises in infant mortality and increases in innumerable other preventable health issues—not to mention mounting healthcare costs. All the while, our most vulnerable—the elderly, children, sick and less advantaged—will be at most risk.
That should not be the result of a health law.
We hope the United States Senate sees the many problems in the legislation."
Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. www.healthyamericans.org
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SOURCE Trust for America's Health