Today, Senators Graham (R-SC) and Cassidy (R-LA) introduced their bill to repeal and the replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Graham-Cassidy would essentially take all the money the federal government spends on Medicaid, premium tax credits, etc. and give that money to the states in the form of a block grant which states could then use to design health care plans for each state. The Senators released a section-by-section analysis of the bill which summarizes its provisions and a formula description which explains how the amount of the block grants will be calculated.
As was the case with the prior repeal and replace bills in the House and Senate, we believe that Graham-Cassidy fails to preserve the protections the ACA provided for people with disabilities. In fact, in many ways Graham-Cassidy is worse than the prior repeal and replace bills were. Presumably, under Graham-Cassidy, a state could receive waivers and enact a system which allows insurance companies to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, charge more to these individuals or restrict access to many essential health benefits. The block grants would also result in drastic cuts to the Medicaid program upon which many people with disabilities rely for their health coverage. For these reasons, the American Association on Health and Disability (the lead partner for the NDNRC) opposes Graham-Cassidy and urges Congress to reject it.
You can view the NDNRC statement on health reform which we released after the election last November which includes the provisions of the ACA which we believe are vital to people with disabilities. In the statement entitled “Preserve the Protections Provided by the Affordable Care Act,” we call on Congress and the Administration to protect provisions in the ACA which have benefited people with disabilities.
Some additional statements from organizations opposing Graham-Cassidy are as follows:
- NDNRC Partner: Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
- NDNRC Partner: National Multiple Sclerosis Society
- NDNRC Partner: The Arc
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
- Families USA
- National Health Council
- National Health Law Program
* This post was updated on September 19, 2017 to include more details on the bill and add more statements from organizations