Early this morning, while most Americans were sleeping, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to move forward to a full congressional vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Trump administration’s replacement to the Affordable Care Act.
Ways and Means is one of two committees — along with the Energy and Commerce Committee — voting on the AHCA before the bill goes to a vote in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
While the House of Representatives is expected to pass the bill, several Republicans in the Senate have expressed concern about the bill’s proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, according to the Times.
"This flawed proposal ... turns a blind eye to the essential health benefits that millions of Americans have come to rely upon."
Human Rights Campaign
These include Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.
Several healthcare providers, including most notably the American Medical Association (AMA), have also spoken out against the proposed legislation, which will cut federal funding from Planned Parenthood, raise health care costs for those who benefit from Medicare and Medicaid, and remove tax credits that benefit marginalized communities, such as the LGBTQ community.
Millions of people stand to lose their coverage under the new plan, an analysis by the New York Times estimates.
“While we agree that there are problems with the ACA that must be addressed, we cannot support the AHCA as drafted because of the expected decline in health insurance coverage and the potential harm it would cause to vulnerable patient populations,” the AMA wrote in a letter.
The American Nurses Association also rejected the proposed bill:
Other medical groups to speak out against the AHCA include: the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, the American Hospital Association, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Lung Association.
Human Rights Campaign, which represents the nation’s LGBTQ community, condemned the bill in a strongly worded letter.
“This flawed proposal, drafted behind closed door without public input, turns a blind eye to the essential health benefits that millions of Americans have come to rely upon,” the letter read.