22 million – that’s how many Americans would lose their health insurance, according to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, if the reconciliation legislation approved by the U.S. House of Representative yesterday by a 240-181 vote were to become law.
The U.S. Senate approved the same bill in December and the House adopted it yesterday with no changes, so it is heading to the White House where President Obama is certain to veto the measure. The likelihood that House or Senate Republican leaders could summon the needed votes to override that veto is zero.
It’s easy to dive into the political games involved in this legislation because there are so many. Doing so, though, ignores our responsibility to recognize what this Congress has done – put itself on record to cancel health insurance for tens of millions of Americans and offer nothing, zero, to mitigate the harm to mostly low and lower middle income families.
Here are the bill’s key elements:
- Eliminate the ACA Medicaid expansion
- Eliminate the ACA’s premium and cost sharing subsidies to help lower middle income Americans buy private health insurance
- Repeal the ACA’s individual mandate which helps to ensure a healthy risk pool of enrollees to keep premiums affordable
- Cancel all federal funds to Planned Parenthood