Durbin: Under Trumpcare - Medicaid Decimated, Children's Health Care Threatened, and Big Tax Breaks for the Wealthy

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today admonished House Republicans for slashing Medicaid funding for families, women, seniors, rural communities, and children in their plan to repeal health care.  The Affordable Care Act (ACA) gave states the option to expand Medicaid to millions more Americans – 32 states participate in the expansion, including Illinois.  As a result, 11 million people nationwide – and 650,000 people in Illinois – are newly enrolled in the Medicaid program and able to access health care.  Trumpcare ends the Medicaid expansion and dramatically cuts the underlying Medicaid program – slashing $40 billion from Illinois alone and putting millions of lives and jobs at risk.

“More than three million Illinoisans, about 20 percent of the people in my state, currently depend on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program for health care.  This includes 300,000 Illinois seniors and people with disabilities.  It also includes 1.5 million children, or half of all kids in Illinois,” said Durbin.  “Do you know what the Republican Affordable Care Act repeal bill does for these programs?  It ends the expansion of Medicaid.  It would eliminate coverage for 650,000 people in the state of Illinois.  The bill cuts health care for struggling families, women, seniors, and children in order to give a tax break to the wealthiest people in America.  Repealing health care would be devastating – devastating to the kids who depend on Medicaid, devastating to the seniors in the nursing homes who are dependent on Medicaid, devastating to those who are disabled and have to turn to Medicaid regularly to maintain their lifestyle and be productive, happy, and safe.”

The Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA) predicts that the Medicaid cuts included in the House-passed ACA repeal bill would result in approximately 60,000 job losses in Illinois alone.

Durbin also described what Trumpcare would do to Medicaid participants nationwide. The Medicaid program helps pay for two out of three seniors in their nursing homes.  It pays for about half of all children born in this country.  It is the primary payer of all mental health and opioid addiction treatment.  It provides health care to 25 percent of people in rural communities.  Medicaid pays for special education in nearly half of all school districts, and it provides critical support for veterans with chronic conditions.

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor are available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.

In March, Durbin released a report titled “TrumpCare: Less for More, An Analysis of the Impact of Repealing the Affordable Care Act on Illinois,” which details what Illinois stands to lose if President Trump and Congressional Republicans are successful in passing their legislation to repeal the ACA.  After requesting information from every hospital, public health department, and major medical society in the state, the report summarizes how the ACA has helped individuals, families, and providers in all 18 Illinois congressional districts, and provides information on the increased out-of-pocket costs and number of people in each congressional district that stand to lose health coverage under the Republican repeal bill.