Coloradans should brace for challenges with health coverage
DENVER–Congress’ decision to pass the Tax Cut and Jobs Act will have a dramatic effect on the health care landscape in Colorado and around the US. The bill will set in place a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which compels participation in the insurance market, and sets up dramatic funding cuts for vital health care programs, like Medicaid and Medicare. In response to this decision, Center for Health Progress released the following statement:
“The Tax Cut and Jobs Act bill was rushed through a messy, undemocratic process despite growing public disagreement. It was also not clearly communicated to voters what it actually was: a vehicle to leave millions of Americans with the impossible choice of being uninsured or facing unaffordable health insurance premiums, as well as to make cuts to Medicaid and Medicare, despite the fact that many Americans rely on those programs,” said Joe Sammen, Executive Director for Center for Health Progress.
“We are especially disappointed that the Tax Cut and Jobs Act was placed at higher priority over more time-sensitive issues that are life or death for Colorado families, namely the funding for federally-qualified safety net clinics that serve 700,00 Coloradans, CHIP coverage for 70,000 Colorado children and pregnant women, and continuation of the DACA program. Congress had sufficient time and capability to address these before the holidays. Because they did not act adequately, families spent the holidays worrying about what 2018 holds for them.”
“The only way to create an equitable health care system is by ensuring all voices are heard and considered in its design. However, the only voices being listened to right now are those of multi-million dollar corporations and the wealthiest Americans, who want to shift financial responsibility for critical health care and other infrastructure to someone else. The ‘someone else’ will still be taxpayers when each state has to make up the difference in its budget. Colorado has made significant improvements to its health care system, which has required an ongoing partnership with the federal government. In absence of this, Colorado has some difficult choices to make, and we should not have been put in that position.”
Center for Health Progress is a part of Protect Our Care Colorado, which is a coalition of 48 organizations in Colorado advocating to protect the health care of Coloradans. To learn more about the coalition, visit ProtectOurCareCo.org