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Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World is concerned that 24 million people, including 14 million on Medicaid, would lose health insurance coverage under the House Republican’s replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The replacement would increase hunger and poverty in the United States.
“The proposed American Health Care Act would have a devastating impact on poor and elderly people, driving many deeper into hunger and poverty,” said Eric Mitchell, director of government relations at Bread for the World. “Fourteen million of the poorest Americans would lose their Medicaid coverage. Oftentimes, people without health insurance must choose between putting food on the table and receiving medical care.”
The American Health Care Act (AHCA) would cut Medicaid funding by $880 billion over 10 years, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The AHCA would cap Medicaid funding to the states and eliminate the ACA Medicaid expansion. States would receive less money to cover children, the poor, the elderly, and the disabled, resulting in the rationing of health care. Approximately 68 million Americans receive health insurance through the Medicaid program.
The AHCA would also cut subsidies that have made it possible for millions of families to buy health insurance, dramatically raising costs for the poor and elderly. Before the ACA, 1 in 3 people with chronic medical conditions had to choose between paying for medical treatment and purchasing food for their family.
“Families who struggle to make ends meet are often driven deeper into hunger and poverty because of medical bills,” Mitchell added. “Medicaid has helped make it possible for millions to overcome this. Capping funding for Medicaid will mean that many qualified people will not be covered by the program. And those who are will not receive the same quality of care. Costs will go up and families will suffer. This is not what Americans were promised.”
Hunger and food insecurity add at least $160 billion a year to U.S. healthcare costs.
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