Individual Mandate Repeal Will Deprive More Americans of Affordable Health Care, say 15 Patient and Consumer Groups

Contact

Michelle Kirkwood
press@diabetes.org
703-299-2053

Washington, District of Columbia
December 2, 2017

Today a group of 15 non-partisan patient and consumer organizations issued the following statement after the passage of the Senate Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  

“The bill passed today by the Senate takes yet another step towards undermining the stability of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) insurance markets. The repeal of the individual insurance mandate destabilizes an essential pillar of the ACA by removing incentives for young and healthy people to purchase insurance. Having young and healthy people as part of the insurance pool helps keep premiums manageable for everyone. This move is the latest in a string of actions by both Congress and the administration that puts affordable, adequate and accessible care for patients and families further out of reach. 

The patient and consumer community joins members of the provider and issuer communities in raising the alarm about the consequences of the repeal of the individual mandate without a workable alternative, which include higher premiums and fewer Americans with coverage. 

A letter issued by the Congressional Budget Office earlier this week estimated that repealing the mandate will result in 13 million more uninsured Americans and will increase premiums by an additional 10 percent each year. The CBO also clarified that passage of the bipartisan short-term stabilization legislation crafted by Senators Alexander and Murray would do little to mitigate the dramatic drop in coverage or increase in cost. While our groups continue to support the policies included in the Alexander-Murray bill, that proposal cannot compensate for the harm to patients and families resulting from the repeal of the individual mandate. 

We are deeply disappointed by the Senate’s actions today and their impact on the health and wellbeing of millions of patients across the United States. We urge the House and Senate to reconsider this approach during their conference negotiations and stand ready to work with Congress to ensure that any healthcare policies included in the tax package reflect the real and urgent needs of Americans, particularly those with costly serious and chronic health conditions.” 

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network 

American Diabetes Association

American Heart Association 

American Lung association

Arthritis Foundation

Consumers Union

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Epilepsy Foundation 

Family Voices

Futures Without Violence

Lutheran Services in America

March of Dimes

National Health Council 

National MS Society

National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)

About the American Diabetes Association

Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn)