The following is a statement from Howard Bedlin, National Council on Aging (NCOA) Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy, on the House passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA):
“Today, the House of Representatives chose to pass the AHCA – the first step in dismantling the protections and access to health insurance provided by Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.
“Absent a score from the Congressional Budget Office, supporters of the bill cannot properly understand the impact it will have on older Americans and their families. Health care is one of the largest expenses for every household in America, and the AHCA will increase the number of Americans without insurance by over 24 million and make it harder for pre-Medicare older adults to find affordable health insurance.
“We hope the Senate will reject the devastating effects the AHCA will have on too many Americans. In addition to making health insurance unrealistically expensive for older Americans and others with pre-existing conditions, the AHCA dismantles Medicaid for our most vulnerable citizens, weakens the Medicare Trust Fund, and repeals cost-effective prevention and home care programs.
“Access to affordable health insurance is pivotal for every American who wants to age on their own terms. We hope the Senate will agree and take steps to ensure that the Affordable Care Act’s core protections remain intact and that Medicaid continues to provide access to quality services for those in greatest need.
“We will continue to be a part of the Senate health care conversation to ensure that the voices of vulnerable older adults are heard loud and clear in the discussion.”
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a trusted national leader working to ensure that every person can age well. Since 1950, our mission has not changed: Improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. NCOA empowers people with the best solutions to improve their own health and economic security—and we strengthen government programs that we all depend on as we age. Every year, millions of people use our signature programs BenefitsCheckUp®, My Medicare Matters®, and the Aging Mastery Program® to age well. By offering online tools and collaborating with a nationwide network of partners, NCOA is working to improve the lives of 10 million older adults by 2020. Learn more at ncoa.org and @NCOAging.