HRC Opposes Cassidy-Graham & Urges 'No' Vote on Bill That Would Harm LGBTQ Americans

by Nick Morrow

HRC responded to the proposed Cassidy-Graham “health care” proposal in the U.S. Senate. The bill, concocted behind closed doors without any public input, is yet another effort by President Trump and some Senate Republicans to take away health care from millions of Americans. HRC strenuously opposes any attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would harm millions of Americans and disproportionately affect LGBTQ people.

“The Cassidy-Graham bill is yet another drafted-in-secret, cynical legislative ploy to rip health care away from millions of Americans,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “Like its predecessors, this bill would undermine health care for millions of Americans and have a disproportionate impact on low-income senior citizens, women, children, LGBTQ people and people living with HIV. The Senate must reject any bill that aims to repeal key parts of the Affordable Care Act and, in the process, put people’s lives at risk.”

This new proposal, which has yet to have a hearing or receive a score from the Congressional Budget Office, revives many of the problematic parts of past legislation that aimed to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Cassidy-Graham legislation as drafted would allow states to charge higher premiums for people with preexisting conditions, gut the essential health benefits guaranteed by the ACA and cut billions of dollars in funding for Medicaid -- leaving states to make up huge budget shortfalls.

As a result of the ACA, thousands of low-income people living with HIV have been able to obtain health insurance through the Medicaid expansion. This critical coverage ensures that people living with HIV have access to lifesaving treatments. The bill’s drastic changes to Medicaid will likely strip these people, and other vulnerable populations, of essential healthcare coverage.

The Cassidy-Graham bill would also cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which could jeopardize the ability of clinics to deliver preventive health services, including HIV testing and transition-related care. Health centers, like those operated by Planned Parenthood, often offer the only culturally competent healthcare available, especially in rural and isolated areas.

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