Statement by Joe Baker, President of the Medicare Rights Center, on U.S. Senate Finance Committee Hearing on the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson Proposal
New York, NY—Today, on behalf of the older adults and people with disabilities we serve, the Medicare Rights Center reinforced its staunch opposition to the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson (Graham-Cassidy) bill in a statement to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. The Graham-Cassidy bill, like its predecessors, would yank health coverage away from millions of American families.
The Graham-Cassidy bill ends Medicaid as we know it. Faced with an untenable cost shift brought about by the bill’s per-capita caps, states would be forced to scale back benefits, create waiting lists, and impose higher cost-sharing on low-income people who need Medicaid to live and age with dignity. The 11 million people with Medicare who rely on Medicaid will be among those who suffer the brunt of these baseless funding cuts. With 10,000 people aging into Medicare by the day, the bill’s up to $3.2 trillion in Medicaid cuts by the year 2036 are both heartless and shortsighted.
Today’s hearing will not fix the fundamental problems with the Graham-Cassidy approach or repair the secretive and faulty process behind the bill’s advancement. Moving this bill forward without a full understanding of how its provisions will affect Americans’ health coverage—which requires a complete Congressional Budget Office analysis—is nothing short of irresponsible. We hope today’s hearing sheds light on the flawed Graham-Cassidy bill and convinces members of the Senate to commit to bipartisan solutions to enhance health care access and affordability for all.
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