Statement of ACAP on Passage of Tax Reform

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  December 2, 2017

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  Jeff Van Ness, (202) 204-7515; jvanness@communityplans.net

STATEMENT OF ACAP ON PASSAGE OF TAX REFORM  

WASHINGTON—Margaret A. Murray, Chief Executive Officer of the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP), today made the following statement on the Senate’s passage of tax reform, which includes a repeal of the individual mandate for health insurance and, without subsequent Congressional action, would force future cuts to Medicaid and Medicare.

“The bill passed by the Senate is a clear case of health policy malpractice.

“Its reduction of deductions for state and local taxes, and ladling on of an additional $1 trillion in debt, will put severe pressure on publicly-sponsored health coverage programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, in the future – and will trigger automatic cuts to Medicare in the short term, absent further action from Congress.

“The repeal of the individual mandate provision shows that we haven’t learned the mistakes of the past: State after state—New Jersey, Iowa, South Dakota, Washington, among others—have all tried guaranteed issue without a mandate. It failed in each case. Without further action it will fail here, too.

“In the absence of further action, healthy consumers will have incentive to leave the Marketplaces. They may instead be lured by the lower premiums of short-term plans, which offer substantially fewer benefits and consumer protections. Those that do move to those short-term plans will experience many of the issues, such as medical underwriting, exclusions, and denial of claims through rescission, that the Affordable Care Act was built to address.

“Should the provisions of the tax bill around the individual mandate stand, Congress will have driven the individual market off a cliff. Once the effects of this bill become apparent, the American people will know who was behind the wheel.”

About ACAP
ACAP represents 61 Safety Net Health Plans, which provide health coverage to more than 21 million people in 29 states. Safety Net Health Plans serve their members through Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Marketplace and other health programs. For more information, visit www.communityplans.net.

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