TRENTON – Senate Health Chairman Joseph F. Vitale issued the following statement today on the House Republicans’ plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act:
“The new Republican ‘repeal and replace’ proposal will have a devastating impact on accessibility and affordability for millions of Americans. Its provisions will reverse the gains we’ve made under health care reform.
“Removing the individual insurance mandate will destabilize the insurance marketplace. Removing the subsidy that allows families and individuals to purchase health insurance will create millions of uninsured who are currently covered by the ACA, and will absolutely create barriers for those hoping to purchase coverage.
“Replacing subsidies with a tax credit for purchasing coverage does nothing to help middle- and low-income families, and the additional burden of a 30 percent surcharge penalty on anyone who is late with their premium payment only serves to disadvantage those in need. The undoing of Medicaid expansion that has finally provided access to so many will eliminate coverage for low income working families, all the while handing the wealthiest Americans a significant tax cut.
“Eliminating the opportunity for women, especially low income women, to access care at Planned Parenthood centers throughout the country shows a complete lack of understanding of the services Planned Parenthood provides, and a complete lack of caring and consideration for the women of our country and their reproductive health care needs.
“This proposal and its impact was either poorly thought through, or Republicans in Congress could not care less about providing affordable and quality healthcare for the majority of our citizens. It should be rejected.
“It’s also being pushed forward without a Congressional Budget Office score of either cost or coverage. That’s reckless and irresponsible. It cannot be given any serious consideration, especially in the form of an up or down vote.”