Oppose Repeal of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Block Grants/Per Capita Caps and the Defunding of Planned Parenthood

Health Care 03.2,17

Recipient: United States Congress

View a PDF of this letter here.

Oppose Repeal of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Block Grants/Per Capita Caps and the Defunding of Planned Parenthood

Dear Senator/Representative:

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Health Law Program, the National Partnership for Women and Families and the undersigned 85 organizations, we urge you to oppose any attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA); transform Medicaid into a block grant or per capita cap; and defund Planned Parenthood health centers.

Repealing the ACA and restructuring the financing and coverage of Medicaid would leave all 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.  The gains are particularly noteworthy for Latinos, African Americans, and Native Americans. Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders have seen the largest gains in coverage. The nation and our communities cannot afford to go back to a time when they did not have access to comprehensive, affordable coverage. Further, due to the intersectionality between factors, such as race and disability or sexual orientation and uninsurance, many individuals may face additional discrimination and barriers to obtaining coverage. Proposals to replace the ACA with high-risk pools, Health Savings Accounts, or “cheaper” insurance plans that do not offer comprehensive, affordable benefits are unacceptable.

Medicaid is also critically important as it insures one of every five individuals in the United States and one of every three children. Medicaid coverage, including the Medicaid expansion, is particularly critical for underserved individuals and especially people of color, because they are more likely to be living with certain chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, which require ongoing screening and services. People of color represent 58 percent of non-elderly Medicaid enrollees. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, African-Americans comprise 22 percent of Medicaid enrollment, and Hispanics comprise 25 percent. They are more likely than White non-Hispanics to lack insurance coverage and are more likely to live in families with low incomes and fall in the Medicaid gap. As a result, the lack of expansion disproportionately affects these communities as well as women, who also make up the majority of poor uninsured adults in states that did not expand Medicaid.

Despite the common myth that all low-income people could enroll in Medicaid, the Medicaid program has only been available to certain categories of individuals. (e.g., children, pregnant women, people who were aged, blind, or had disabilities) and had little to no savings or assets. Parents of children and childless adults were often excluded from Medicaid or only the lowest income individuals in these categories were eligible. For example, the Medicaid expansion greatly expanded coverage for LGTBTQ individuals who previously did not fit into a traditional Medicaid eligibility category.

The proposal to block all Medicaid patients from receiving care at Planned Parenthood health centers will have a disproportionate effect on poor families and people of color and could further jeopardize women’s access to preventive health care. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 390,000 women would lose access and up to 650,000 could face reduced access to preventive health care within a year if Congress were to block all Medicaid patients from seeking care at a Planned Parenthood health center.

We urge you to oppose any repeal of the Affordable Care Act, attempts to convert Medicaid into a block grant or per capita caps, and any attempts to defund Planned Parenthood. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Leadership Conference Health Care Task Force Co-chairs Mark Savage at the National Partnership for Women & Families (msavage@nationalpartnership.org) and Mara Youdelman at the National Health Law Program (youdelman@healthlaw.org), or Corrine Yu at The Leadership Conference (yu@civilrights.org).


The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
National Health Law Program (NHeLP)
National Partnership for Women & Families
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta
ALSO Youth, Inc
American Civil Liberties Union
American Federation of Teachers
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Asian Services In Action
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations
Association of University Centers on Disabilities
Bend the Arc Jewish Action
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center
Campaign for America’s Future
Center for Public Interest Law
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
Children’s Advocacy Institute
CommonHealth ACTION
Community Catalyst
Disability Policy Consortium
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
Equality Federation
Family Equality Council
Forward Together
Gay Alliance
GLBT Community Center of Colorado
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality
GSA Network
Healthy Teen Network
Human Rights Campaign
Lambda Legal
LGBT Center of Raleigh
Los Angeles LGBT Center
Medicare Rights Center
Movement Advancement Project
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
National Association of Counsel for Children
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Coalition for LGBT Health
National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of La Raza
National Health Care for the Homeless Council
National Hispanic Medical Association
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty
National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
National Urban League
National Women’s Health Network
National Women’s Law Center
New Mexico Primary Care Training Consortium
NOELA Community Health Center
OutFront Kalamazoo (formerly KGLRC)
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Prevention Institute
RAD Remedy
Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Religious Institute
Sacramento LGBT Community Center
Senior Community Outreach Services, Inc.
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative
Southwest Center for Health Innovation
StandUp For Kids
The AIDS Institute
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable
The Praxis Project
Trans United
Transition Associates, Inc.
Treatment Access Expansion Project
Universal Health Care Foundation of CT
URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity
Women’s Action Movement
Women’s Action Network
Young Invincibles