Statement from NC Justice Center: Millions to Lose Coverage under Graham-Cassidy, but Congress’ Rush to Repeal Leaves CBO No Time for Full Score

Third Party Analyses Find Bill Would Slash $8.1B in Federal Health Care Funding for North Carolina, Taking Coverage from 32 Million Americans

RALEIGH (September 25, 2017) — Late last night, Republican senators unveiled a revised draft of the Graham-Cassidy proposal which would slash federal funding for health care and eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Today, the Congressional Budget Office—which announced previously it would not have time to release a full score of the legislation’s impact on the budget deficit, premiums in the individual market, or how many Americans lose coverage—provided their incomplete score of an out-of-date version of the Graham-Cassidy proposal.

The fact that Congress did not give CBO the opportunity to provide a full analysis or to even evaluate the latest version of the bill speaks volumes about the dangerous, rushed process the Senate is pursuing.

“Voting for Graham-Cassidy without a full CBO score is like closing your eyes and merging onto I-40 during rush hour,” said Brendan Riley, health policy analyst for the North Carolina Justice Center's Health Advocacy Project. "While we lack a full CBO score, we do have clear estimates from nonpartisan third-party researchers that consistently find North Carolina loses out under Graham-Cassidy."

Researchers from Manatt Health, Avalere Health, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and the Kaiser Family Foundation agree: North Carolina would lose significant federal health care funding under the bill. Kaiser estimates our state would lose $8.1 billion between 2020 and 2026. What’s more, the bill would bring back discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions, raise deductibles, and increase premiums for low-income North Carolina seniors by up to $15,046 a year, according to AARP.

As a result of slashing health care funding, stripping consumer protections, and gutting Medicaid, Graham-Cassidy would take coverage away from at least 32 million Americans, as projected by the Brookings Institution. The impact on North Carolina would be severe, with an estimated 1.1 million North Carolinians becoming uninsured under Graham-Cassidy.

The people of North Carolina would be better served by Congress resuming bipartisan negotiations to make fixes to health care instead of repealing the Affordable Care Act and gutting Medicaid. Under the current partisan sabotage effort, North Carolina premiums could increase next year by 14.1 percent—a preventable cost forced onto hundreds of thousands of Tar Heels by the Trump administration’s outright sabotage of the Affordable Care Act.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT Brendan Riley, Brendan@ncjustice.org, 919-861-2074; Julia Hawes, julia@ncjustice.org, 919.863.2406.
 

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