Congress Passes Tax and Partial ACA Repeal Bill, with Devastating Consequences for HIV and Hepatitis Health Care Access

By Kyle Taylor December 21, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2017

CONTACT: Kyle Taylor
ktaylor@NASTAD.org | 202-434-7134

Congress Passes Tax and Partial ACA Repeal Bill, with Devastating Consequences for HIV and Hepatitis Health Care Access

Washington, D.C.  On December 20, 2017, both chambers of Congress passed a sweeping tax and healthcare bill, voting to add a staggering $1.5 trillion to the deficit and strip health insurance coverage from millions of Americans. The President is expected to sign this bill into law. In a cruel trade-off, the bill provides corporations and the wealthiest Americans massive tax cuts, while at the same time jeopardizing continued funding for vital healthcare and safety net programs that serve the most vulnerable Americans. The bill also eliminates the ACA’s individual mandate beginning in 2019, a move the Congressional Budget Office estimates will cause 13 million Americans to lose health insurance coverage.

“By passing this mean-spirited bill, Congress has clearly spoken: securing massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans is worth taking away health coverage for low-income Americans and destabilizing our nation’s safety net healthcare programs,” stated NASTAD Executive Director Murray Penner. “Make no mistake, this bill is the same ‘skinny ACA repeal’ that Republican Senators claimed was irresponsible to enact without a replacement, and these same Senators should be held accountable for working to stabilize the ACA Marketplaces and protecting consumers.” 

“Moving forward, we must now ensure that Congress does not pay for this massive tax cut for the wealthiest Americans with cuts to Medicaid and HIV and hepatitis public health programs which primarily serve low-income individuals,” Penner concluded. NASTAD will continue to educate Congress on the importance of preserving coverage, affordability, and lifesaving services for people living with and at risk for HIV and hepatitis and is eager to work on bipartisan solutions to make the healthcare system work better and ultimately improve the health outcomes of vulnerable Americans who are disproportionately impacted by these diseases.

About NASTAD

Founded in 1992, NASTAD is a leading non-partisan non-profit association that represents public health officials who administer HIV and hepatitis programs in the U.S. and around the world. Our singular mission is to end the intersecting epidemics of HIV, viral hepatitis, and related conditions. We do this work by strengthening domestic and global governmental public health through advocacy, capacity building, and social justice.

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