Dingell, State Representatives Hold Town Hall on Impact of ACA Repeal in Michigan
YPSILANTI, MI – U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12), State Representatives Donna Lasinski, Ronnie Peterson, Yousef Rabhi and Adam Zemke today held a town hall with Marianne Udow-Phillips, executive director of the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation to discuss Republican’s proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and what it means for Michigan. The town hall, moderated by David Fair of WEMU Radio, drew more than 300 attendees to discuss the bill’s impact on the Healthy Michigan program, children, seniors and working families.
“With the House of Representatives expected to vote on proposed Republican healthcare legislation this week, many people have questions about its potential impact and what it means to them and their families. We understand the importance of this community having answers and the facts, which is why we are hosting this forum,” said Dingell. “The consequences of this legislation are stark: the nonpartisan CBO confirmed that this bill will push 24 million Americans off their health insurance over the next decade. It will hit seniors from two fronts – rationing Medicaid and charging older Americans five times more for care – and it will end Healthy Michigan, which our children and seniors rely upon, by 2020. At the same time, while hurting working families, this bill will give a $600 billion tax break to the wealthiest. We cannot afford to go backwards. We will continue to fight for the quality, affordable health care every American deserves.”
“As a state representative, I have serious concerns about the consequences of repealing the Affordable Care Act for the hundreds of thousands of Michiganders who have gained healthcare since it was enacted,” said Representative Lasinski. “While we in the Michigan Legislature don’t have a direct say in this important federal vote, we are hearing every day from our constituents who are fearful that they will lose their coverage and from our seniors who have learned of the dramatic proposed rate increases. It is imperative that we use our voices to call upon our members of Congress to vote to ensure that residents of Michigan continue to have access to quality, affordable healthcare.”
“Michigan made a commitment to its residents when the Healthy Michigan plan was implemented, and it’s simply unacceptable for us to rip the rug out from under them now that they finally have stable insurance coverage,” Representative Peterson said. “We cannot abandon the more than 650,000 Michiganders who now have health care. That’s not who we are as a state, and that’s not who we are as a people.”
“Congress is on the precipice of gutting medical care for working-class Michiganders, seniors and people with disabilities,” said Representative Rabhi. “Judging by the turnout and the comments we heard today people are not happy with the Trump/Ryan vision of what healthcare should look like in America.”
"As a young Michigander, the Affordable Care Act has been paramount in ensuring that young Michiganders have health coverage while they are young, thus enabling them the freedom to take advantage of their opportunities and dreams without coverage concerns,” said Representative Zemke. “And as a Michigan legislator, the ACA has been paramount in ensuring that 650,000 more Michiganders have coverage through Healthy Michigan. Regardless of age, the ACA provides tremendous benefit for Michigan."
Since the ACA was enacted in 2010, the uninsured rate in Michigan has fallen by more than 50 percent, with 695,000 residents gaining coverage. The Republican’s proposal to repeal the ACA threatens to reverse the gains made in coverage and access to care. The ACA repeal bill:
- Rips health coverage away from 24 million Americans, including 14 million in 2018 alone.
- Implements an “age tax” for older Americans, which will drastically increase costs seniors pay for their healthcare. Older Americans will be forced to pay premiums five times higher than what others pay for health coverage.
- Ends Medicaid expansion, which has extended coverage to 695,000 Michiganders through the Healthy Michigan program.
- Rations care for 76 million Americans by arbitrarily cutting and capping Medicaid, using a program that provides critical health services to the most vulnerable Americans to provide tax cuts for the wealthy.
- Forces Americans to pay more for less. Working families could see their premiums and deductibles increase by hundreds to thousands of dollars.
- Fails to protect up to 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. Protections only apply for those who maintain continuous coverage. If someone has a lapse in coverage, insurance companies could charge a 30 percent premium increase for an entire year.
- Defunds Planned Parenthood. Women with nowhere else to turn will lose access to essential preventative care.