May 5, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact: Janine Walsh
Franciscan Action Network
Franciscan Action Network Disappointed in Passage of American Health Care Act by the House of Representatives
Making health care more expensive and less accessible is immoral and leaves too many vulnerable
Washington, D.C. - A fundamental tenant of human dignity is caring for the sick. Yet the latest version of the American Health Care Act unfathomably forces the sick to struggle harder to access the care they need. After failing to bring the bill to the House floor on March 24th due to lack of votes, the House of Representatives voted yesterday to overturn the Affordable Care Act in favor of the American Health Care Act.
The heart of the new bill is the same as the one that failed to come to a vote in March. According to a Congressional Budget Office survey of the first version of the bill, older Americans would be hit the hardest by the repeal of Obamacare as their premiums would spike. The bill strips health care from tens of millions of people and guts protections for anyone with pre-existing conditions. Additionally, it removes the requirement for insurance providers to cover essential health benefits like maternity care, mental health services, preventive care, and prescription drug coverage. While the language of the amendments is vague, we have every reason to believe that they will present major hurdles to accessing coverage for millions of Americans.
FAN Executive Director, Patrick Carolan notes, "The role of health care should implicitly be to provide the highest quality care for the largest number of people, in the interest of maintaining dignity and quality of life, as our faith calls us to do. It is immoral to restrict access to care for anyone, but especially for the most vulnerable, including those who need consistent treatment and our aging population. As arguably the most powerful, developed country in the world, it is inexcusable that our healthcare system is failing so many. We can and must do better."