WASHINGTON, June 22, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The below is a statement from John Auerbach, president and CEO, of Trust for America's Health (TFAH) on the Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act.
"The Senate version is no better than what the House proposed and in no way improves upon the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In reality, this Act is irredeemable.
If the Better Care Reconciliation Act becomes law, tens of millions will lose insurance. A critical part of what they'll lose is access to the care they need to prevent or manage chronic conditions in a life- and cost-saving way. More than 80 percent of the $3 trillion dollars we spend every year on healthcare goes to individuals with one or more chronic conditions—with better preventive care and well managed chronic disease clinical services we can reduce costs and improve health outcomes.
A better way for Congress to cut healthcare costs and keep Americans healthy would be to create legislation that increases investments in preventive services and programs and ensures people have access to clinical care before they develop costly conditions.
This bill does the absolute opposite.
In addition to millions losing insurance, the Senate bill would eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund beginning next fiscal year, which supplies 12 percent of the budget (or close to $900 million) for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And, $625 million of that goes directly to states and communities to address their most pressing health needs, including drug misuse, infectious diseases, lead poisoning, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cancer and tobacco use.
In addition, with the phasing out of Medicaid expansion and possible loss of guaranteed essential health benefits, effective preventive services—including vaccines and screenings for cancer—will no longer be required by insurers.
If the Better Care Reconciliation Act becomes law, the American people will be sicker and poorer. We will likely see more overdoses and untreated STDs, rises in infant mortality and increases in innumerable other preventable health issues, all of which add up to ever-increasing healthcare costs.
We strongly urge the United States Congress to start over and create a true healthcare bill that will actually improve the ACA and the nation's health."
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