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Higgins statement calls health care bill 'an attack on the most vulnerable'


Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) called the Republican move to ram through repeal of the Affordable Care Act a display of Congressional incompetence with heartbreaking consequences for the American people.

"Today's rush for a vote put politics before people, representing a determination to do something rather than to do good," said Congressman Higgins.  "This bill is an attack on the most vulnerable - older Americans, children, Americans with disabilities, and those fighting for their lives.  It will cost people their health and financial stability – and the greater the need for healthcare, the greater the cost."

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) removes the following protections for patients:
  •          Pre-Existing Conditions: Allows insurance companies to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, pushing individuals to high-risk pools that often provide less coverage at a higher cost. 
  •          Allows for the elimination of essential benefits which includes coverage for: prescription drugs; emergency care and hospitalization; maternity, newborn and pediatric care; and substance use and mental health services.
  •          Age Tax: Allows insurance companies to charge individuals ages 50-64 much higher premiums, making insurance unaffordable for older Americans. 
  •          Executive Compensation: Allows insurance company CEOs to write-off their multi-million dollar salaries while charging the hard-working people more.
The Republicans forced a vote on the bill prior to receiving a non-partisan analysis of the cost and impact of the final package from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).  According to an earlier CBO assessment, the American Health Care Act:
Higgins, a member of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over health care concluded by saying, "The Affordable Care Act was a start not a finish.  We can certainly work to further improve upon the great strides we made.  This bill however, doesn't come close."
The GOP bill was opposed by the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, March of Dimes, American Lung Association, Multiple Sclerosis Society, American Heart Association, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, AARP, New York Association on Independent Living, Cerebral Palsy Association of NYS and many others.