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Nurses: Senate Bid to Repeal ACA Should Be Signal to Democrats to Push for Real Reform

National Nurses United Press Release, 7/25/17

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Registered nurses join actions in over 40 U.S. cities Jan. 15, 2017 to demand that the new administration and Congress protect and expand millions of Americans' access to healthcare, not cut it.

Polls a Reminder, What Public Supports is Medicare for All

National Nurses United today said while it continues to oppose Senate Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Democrats should acknowledge concerns about ACA shortcomings as a signal to push for real, transformative reform, an improved and expanded Medicare for all.

“Every Republican bill pushed first in the House and now the Senate is a disaster that would punish tens of millions of Americans with higher healthcare costs and lack of coverage,” said NNU Co-President Jean Ross, RN.

“But no one should let Democrats off the hook here,” Ross continued. “When Democrats controlled the White House, Senate, and House, they chose to ignore a more fundamental solution to our broken health care system."

“Instead of enacting a system that would guarantee healthcare for all, as is done around the world, they opted instead for important, but limited reforms that failed to control escalating out of pocket costs, left 28 million without health coverage, and left themselves vulnerable to this Republican crusade to exacerbate what for far too many is an ongoing healthcare crisis,” said Ross.

Ross noted a report today, for example, on the eve of the Senate vote, in the New York Times about a for-profit company hospitals contract to provide emergency room services that exploits the out of network loophole in the ACA to impose huge, unexpected costs billed to patients. As one patient told the Times: “Now I’m going to have to pay this bill off, and I can’t afford to see a doctor about my high blood pressure medication.”

“Nurses see similar patients all the time, who can’t pay the inflated costs for life saving medications, or critical treatment urged by their doctor. Just because the Republicans are pushing a plan that is far worse, doesn’t mean that millions don’t continue to face a daily crisis today with their health. Democrats need to seize the moment and lead the way for the systemic change we need, Medicare for all,” Ross said.

The public is ready for the most far-reaching public protection, as polls have repeatedly shown, said. Ross.  A poll just last week by the Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, found that 62 percent of public believes it is "the federal government's responsibility to make sure that all Americans have health care coverage."

 

ACA

Medicare for All

Proposed GOP Bills

Percent Insured

90.90%

100%

86%

Number of uninsured

28 million (2026)

0

50 million (2026)

Percent Uninsured

9.10%

0

14%

Benefit levels

Restricted by insurance companies and ability to pay, with minimum required benefits from ACA

Coverage for all medically necessary services

Restricted by insurance companies and ability to pay, with minimum ACA benefits that can be waved by states

Patient Choice of Providers and Hospitals

Restrictive Networks

One Medical Card Good Everywhere

Restrictive Networks

Medical Bankruptcy

52.9% of all bankruptcies [Massachusetts under Romneycare]

No Medical bankruptcies

Likely Increase to Pre-ACA Levels

Average annual deductable costs for employer provided health plans for single coverage

$1,478 (2016)

$0

Likely to Increase

Average Annual Worker Contribution to Premiums for Family Coverage

$5,227 (2016)

$0

Likely to Increase

Number of adults reporting trouble paying medical bills

70 million (2016)

0

Likely to Increase

Number of adults ages 19-64 who reported not getting needed care because of cost

63 million (2016)

0

Likely to Increase

Pre-existing Conditions

Health insurance companies can’t refuse to cover but loopholes remain

All preventative and  medically necessary services will be covered

Promotes junk insurance, if insurance lapses must wait 6 months for coverage 

 

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