Healthcare workers, providers and advocates hailed a recent move by the House to withdraw the proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA) last week.
The bill, promoted by Congressional Republicans, would have negative consequences for Massachusetts – threatening healthcare coverage for up to a half a million residents, costing the state billions of dollars and jeopardizing the state’s largest industry and one of its most important economic drivers. Just as concerning, the legislation would have cut Medicaid funding, weakened insurance protections and threatened addiction recovery services.
“The withdrawal of this bill is a recognition of its near universal opposition by healthcare providers, workers and advocates across America and an affirmation of the power of advocacy,” said Tyrék D. Lee Sr., Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the state’s largest and fastest growing healthcare union.
1199SEIU and its partners have been working hard to preserve the gains made possible by the Affordable Care Act – which has given Massachusetts the lowest uninsured rate in the nation. In March, workers participated in an event at the Old South Church in Boston to highlight the damage that repealing the ACA would do to Massachusetts. 1199SEIU joined leaders from the Massachusetts Medical Society, Planned Parenthood, Health Care for All and other organizations to discuss how the ACA improved on Massachusetts’ groundbreaking 2006 healthcare law under Governor Mitt Romney.
Despite the victory, advocates are continuing to fight to protect the ACA and closely monitoring new efforts that may arise in Congress to repeal the law.
“Pulling the bill is a positive step – but we must remain vigilant to ensure that the Commonwealth can protect the major health and economic gains resulting from its pioneering efforts on universal healthcare,” added Lee.