151 Civil and Human Rights Groups Urge Senators to Take a Stand for the American People and Oppose the AHCA

Media 06.14,17

WASHINGTON – Today, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Partnership for Women & Families, the National Health Law Program and 148 other national and state civil and human rights groups sent a letter to U.S. senators urging them to oppose the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), slash Medicaid funding, and defund Planned Parenthood health centers, resulting in millions of individuals and families losing their health coverage while cutting billions in taxes on the wealthy.

The letter states in part:

“Repealing the ACA, and restructuring and reducing the financing and coverage of Medicaid as proposed by the American Health Care Act (AHCA), would leave at least 23 million people in the United States, particularly people of color and underserved populations, significantly worse off than under current law. The ACA and Medicaid are critical sources of health coverage for America’s traditionally underserved communities, which our organizations represent. This includes individuals and families living in poverty, people of color, women, immigrants, LGBTQ individuals, individuals with disabilities, seniors, and individuals with limited English proficiency. The ACA has reduced the number of people without insurance to historic lows, including a reduction of 39 percent of the lowest income individuals and the impact on those who depend on Medicaid would be especially devastating.”
Click here to read the letter.

“Repealing the ACA and slashing Medicaid funding would be catastrophic to millions of vulnerable people, particularly people of color, women, seniors and people with disabilities,” said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “The ACA has increased the number of people with insurance to historic highs, enabling millions of Americans to gain access to affordable and quality health care. Additionally, defunding Planned Parenthood would take away vital healthcare services from millions of low-income people and people in rural areas. This bill does not reflect the values of our great country.”

“The Affordable Care Act is the greatest advance for women’s health in a generation.  Current efforts underway in the Senate to repeal the law, gut Medicaid, defund Planned Parenthood and strip coverage from millions are downright shameful,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. “We won’t stand by and let the Senate make deep, damaging cuts to Medicaid and deny millions of low-income people access to preventive and potentially life-saving care at Planned Parenthood health centers.”

“Medicaid provides critical, life-sustaining care for 74 million low-income individuals including people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ individuals, and older Americans,” said Mara Youdelman, managing attorney of the National Health Law Program’s Washington, D.C., office (NHeLP). “Cutting $834 billion from the program would decimate the ability of Medicaid to provide home and community-based services to allow people with disabilities to live, learn, work and thrive in their communities; pre-natal care that ensures nearly 50 percent of the children born in the U.S. are born healthy; nursing home care for older Americans because Medicare does not provide for it; mental health and substance use disorder treatment; and preventive and basic health care for millions of individuals. The American Health Care Act is shortsighted in providing massive tax cuts to the wealthy while ripping the health insurance rug out from underneath low-income individuals who will still need health care even if it is not provided.”

“The AHCA is one of the worst pieces of domestic policy that we’ve seen in years and would be devastating to communities of every kind, including Latinos. It’s a horrible bill that will deprive millions of Americans from critical health insurance, in particular the more than four million Latino adults and over 600,000 Latino children that gained coverage since 2013 under the ACA. We must continue organizing, lifting our voices, and applying pressure on our elected officials to protect and defend health coverage for millions of Americans,” said Janet Murguía, president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR).

“Replacing the Affordable Care Act, which covers nearly 23 million people, with the American Health Care Act will come at the expense of the most vulnerable among us,” said Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League.  “The National Urban League serves more than 2 million people every year, many of whom rely on the ACA and Medicaid and would otherwise be uninsured without these programs.  Families cannot afford for Congress to roll back the progress we’ve made on healthcare.  The AHCA prioritizes the chosen few over the everyday, hardworking American in need.  The Senate must reject this bill and stand up for rights of the most underserved communities in this country.”

“The AHCA will significantly hurt people with disabilities through higher health care costs, less coverage, and a greater risk of institutionalization. The promise the United States made over 50 years ago to provide needed health care to adults and children with disabilities through the Medicaid program cannot be broken. We urge the Senate to reject the callous action of their House colleagues, preserve decades of progress, and ensure all adults and children with disabilities will have access to the health care, supports, and services they need to go to school, work, and live in their communities by voting NO on the AHCA,” said Helena Berger, president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).

“In the last seven years, more people and families have been able to get health coverage than ever before in the history of our nation,” said Kathy Ko Chin, president and CEO, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF). “Yet the Senate’s plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and end Medicaid as we know it would turn the course of history and result in millions of people, including Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, losing their ability to afford quality coverage and care.”

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.

NHeLP, founded in 1969, advocates for the rights of low-income and underserved people to access quality health care. For more information on NHeLP, visit http://www.healthlaw.org/.

NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to build a stronger America by creating opportunities for Latinos. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to the economic empowerment of communities of color. For more information on the National Urban League, please visit http://nul.iamempowered.com/

AAPD is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities. For more information on AAPD, visit http://www.aapd.com/.

Founded in 1986 with headquarters in Oakland and an office in Washington DC, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum is the oldest and largest health advocacy organization working with AA and NHPI communities across the nation, in the US Territories and with the US-affiliated Pacific jurisdictions. APIAHF works with communities across the nation to influence policy, mobilize communities, and strengthen programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans (AA), Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPI)