FEATURING RHODA GIBSON and COLLEEN FLANAGAN – Senate Republicans finally unveiled their secret version of the American Health Care Act on Thursday morning. After suggesting that it would be a re-write of the House version of the bill, the Senate version was actually not too different. At the heart of the Senate healthcare bill are deep cuts to Medicaid.
President Obama’s signature healthcare bill, the Affordable Care Act, had expanded Medicaid funding to states, which benefits especially, low-income Americans with disabilities. Under the ACA, a majority of US states expanded access to Medicaid. Now the Republican dominated Congress wants to upend that.
The Senate bill repeals most of the tax increases under the ACA, effectively making the bill primarily about tax credits to the wealthiest Americans. It pays for those tax cuts by eliminating billions of dollars in Medicaid funding.
On Thursday morning, about 60 disability rights activists with the group Adapt held a “die-in” in the offices of Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, the main force behind the bill that is being dubbed “Trumpcare.” The activists had converged onto Washington DC from all over the country. I managed to reach two women in wheelchairs who were literally in the process of being transported to the capital jail after being arrested for participating in the die-in.
Rhoda Gibson and Colleen Flanagan, organizers with ADAPT.