Anthony J. Brindisi

Brindisi joins health care providers, advocates for disabled to decry changes to American Healthcare Act

Published Mar 20, 2017 at 4:00pm

Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi joined health providers and advocates for the disabled this morning at the Dorothy Smith Center for Advocacy in Utica to warn of the consequences associated with the repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act and its replacement, by the Republican-majority U.S. Congress, with the American Health Care Act.

“The Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act would have devastating consequences for millions of New Yorkers if it is enacted,” he said.

“The State Health department released a report earlier this month estimating about one million state residents would see a significant reduction or loss of health insurance coverage of this ill-advisd proposal passes,” Brindisi added.

Medicaid issues

Brindisi said repealing the Affordable Care Act would leave 24 million people nationwide, and 2.7 million in New York State, without health insurance. Approximately 131,000 jobs could be eliminated. He also said the nearly $900 billion in federal cuts to Medicaid would undermine the state’s efforts at controlling Medicaid spending.

The AHCA would eliminate Medicaid, a federal-state program that helps pay for health acre to income eligible an disabled, as an entitlement program that provided open-ended, matching federal funds for anyone who qualifies. It would instead fund Medicaid on a state-specific basis based on how much each state had spent on Medicaid during its previous fiscal year.

Federal money would be granted to states based on a capped, per-capita basis starting in 2020. Individual states could choose to expand Medicaid coverage as needed, but would receive less federal support for any additional applicants.

“Medicaid in particular could be slashed by 25 percent, and this is going to greatly hurt the millions of New Yorkers who do not get health care from their employers and who simply do not earn enough to pay for their own health care,” Brindisi said. “New York State could lose more than $3 billion under this plan, which would be a fiscal disaster.”

Brindisi and other local groups, which included the Resource Center for Independent Living and Citizen Action of New York, urged Congresswoman Claudia J. Tenney and others to vote against the AHCA.

“I urge everyone in Congress representing New York to vote no on this terrible, poorly thought out plan that penalizes the people who are most in need of health care coverage,” Brindisi said.