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Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World is alarmed that 23 million people, including 14 million on Medicaid, would lose health insurance coverage under the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed by the House of Representatives on May 4. The new estimate was recently released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), weeks after the AHCA was passed.
This will only serve to increase hunger and poverty in the United States, which already has the highest number of hungry and poor people among the world’s richest countries.
“The American Health Care Act would have a devastating impact on working families, driving many deeper into hunger and poverty,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “Without health insurance, people must often choose between putting food on the table and receiving the medical care they need.”
The AHCA is the first step in the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
The CBO found that the AHCA will cut $834 billion from Medicaid over 10 years, which will cause 14 million Americans to lose coverage. The score does not take into account the additional $610 billion President Trump proposes to cut from Medicaid in the fiscal year 2018 budget The White House released on Tuesday.
Restructuring Medicaid, a program that covers over 70 million people, and ending the Medicaid expansion will put affordable health care coverage out of reach for millions of Americans. More than one-third of all U.S. children rely on Medicaid for their health care, and almost half of Medicaid recipients are children.
The AHCA would also cut subsidies that have made it possible for millions of families to buy health insurance, dramatically raising costs for poor people and senior citizens. Before Obamacare, 1 in 3 Americans with chronic medical conditions had to choose between paying for medical treatment and purchasing food for their family.
“The AHCA, combined with President Trump’s proposed budget, would be a double whammy for struggling families,” Beckmann said. “The president has broken his promise not to cut Medicaid, and 14 million Americans will pay the price.”
Hunger and food insecurity add at least $160 billion a year to U.S. healthcare costs.
Mass incarceration has far-reaching effects in the United States. It poses a significant barrier to ending U.S. hunger and poverty by 2030—a goal the United States adopted in 2015. But the connection is not always obvious.
The United States has long been a global leader in responding to humanitarian emergencies. Food assistance that includes nutritious food for pregnant women and young children is both a life-and-death matter for individuals and an economic imperative for countries.
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