Baltimore City Health Commissioner Worried about Health of Millions after Congressional Budget Office Confirms Effects of American Health Care Act

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BALTIMORE, MD (May 24, 2017)Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen today issued the following statement in response to the Congressional Budget Office’s report on the American Health Care Act, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on May 4, 2017:

“The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) non-partisan analysis has confirmed what we already knew: the American Health Care Act endangers the lives of millions. According to the CBO, if the bill became law, 23 million more people would be without coverage by 2026. Millions more—including seniors and those with pre-existing conditions—could face dramatically higher premiums.

“The bill cuts $834 billion from Medicaid and $276 billion from the tax credits and other subsidies that allow lower income Americans, including seniors, children, and families, to afford coverage. This is not a healthcare bill; it is a tax cut for the wealthy financed by taking health insurance options away from those in greatest need.

“As I stated when it first passed, this version of the American Health Care Act contains three new provisions that would have dramatic negative consequences for Americans’ health: it allows states to remove the requirement that health plans cover essential health benefits; it removes protection for patients with pre-existing conditions; and it allows insurers to increase premiums for seniors.

“This is fiscally irresponsible and will harm the health and wellbeing of millions of Americans.”