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Memo to HHS Secretary Price: The ACA is Helping Americans

February 10, 2017

Earlier today, the U.S. Senate confirmed Rep. Tom Price as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services.

As he indicated in contentious Senate confirmation hearings, Price will soon begin working from his new post in the Trump administration to undermine and dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Before that happens, we hope that he, President Trump, and their Republican allies in Congress will take a break from their talking points to visit VPC Data Center and review the facts:

  • The Affordable Care Act is helping Americans. It has helped cut the uninsured rate for adults ages 18-64 by 43%, a change that has particularly helped unmarried women. In 2013, 10.1 unmarried women 18-64 were uninsured; by 2015, that number had fallen to 6.8 million.
  • According to a November 2016 poll from Kaiser Health Tracking, most of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act are extremely popular—including allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ plan until age 26 (85% in favor), eliminating many out-of-pocket expenses for preventative services (83%), providing subsidies to low- and moderate-income Americans to help them get insurance coverage (80%), and prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage due to preexisting conditions (69%). Additionally, a January 2017 poll from Quinnipiac indicates that only 18% of Americans want to repeal the ACA.
  • According to analysts, the “replacement” plans being proposed would cost more money, cover fewer Americans, or both — and, of course, repealing the ACA without replacing it would take away health coverage from tens of millions of Americans, with a particularly heavy impact on the New American Majority.

For Price, dismantling the Affordable Care Act is only the beginning. As Senator Chuck Schumer pointed out, Tom Price has “dedicated his life to destroying Medicare as we know it.” In a 2009 op-ed, Price made his intentions clear, stating that “Nothing has had a greater negative effect on the delivery of health care than the federal government’s intrusion into medicine through Medicare.”

Price considers the elimination of federal programs like Medicare and the Affordable Care Act to be “common-sense ideas.” For the millions of Americans who benefit from them every day, including unmarried women and those with pre-existing conditions, those ideas would have real consequences. Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund will be watching closely, every step of the way – and rest assured, we will not be silenced.

 

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