Durbin: Senate Affordable Care Act Repeal Bills Would Be Disastrous For Illinois

Calls on Republicans to Drop Secret Repeal Effort, Work in Bipartisan Manner to Strengthen ACA

SPRINGFIELD – With a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expected early next week, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today stood side-by-side with health care professionals at Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation and urged his Senate Republican colleagues to drop the disastrous health care repeal efforts and get to work on strengthening the ACA.

“Congressional Republicans have put forward a series of health care repeal bills—all of which would be devastating for Illinois,” Durbin said. “Every single one of these terrible proposals would result in one million Illinoisans losing their health insurance, undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions, increase out-of-pocket costs for older Americans, and slash funding for the Medicaid program, hurting our hospitals and resulting in tens of thousands of job losses in Illinois alone. All to provide hundreds of billions in tax breaks to the wealthy and big businesses. I urge Republicans to drop these cruel repeal efforts and instead come to the table and work with Democrats to strengthen our health system for all Americans.”

Next week, Republican leaders are planning to force a Senate vote on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, although they refuse to disclose what version of the bill will receive a vote. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), one of the Republican repeal bills would throw 22 million people off health insurance, while the other version would throw 32 million people off insurance. Further, according to CBO, both Republican repeal bills would increase out-of-pocket costs on older Americans, those living in rural areas, and those with pre-existing conditions.

While work on the ACA in 2009 and 2010 featured more than 50 hearings, more than 150 Republican amendments, and more than a month of committee meetings to arrive at the final legislation, the Senate Republican leadership has written all versions of their health care repeal bill in secret, without input or support from outside experts, Democrats, or the American public. In fact, every health care repeal bill put forth by Republican leadership to date has been opposed by virtually every medical and patient organization, including the American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, American Nurses Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, AARP, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, and American Diabetes Association. The Republican bills have also been opposed by the Illinois Health and Hospital Association, who have warned that the proposals would result in 60,000 to 95,000 job losses in Illinois alone. In addition, Blue Cross Blue Shield and America’s Health Insurance Plans sent a letter opposing Republican efforts to undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions through the creation of “junk insurance plans.”