Levin to Snyder: Speak out on Graham-Cassidy

Sep 22, 2017 Issues: Health Care

ROSEVILLE, MI – Rep. Sander Levin (MI-09), Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Ranking Member, today sent the following letter to Governor Rick Snyder urging him to speak out about the potentially devastating effects of the health care proposal set to be considered in the U.S. Senate next week, the “Graham-Cassidy” bill. Earlier this spring, Gov. Snyder sent a letter highlighting his many concerns with the House-passed American Health Care Act.

“Although the bill is being rushed through Congress without even a preliminary analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, it is evident that the people of Michigan would be severely punished by the woefully inadequate block grant that the legislation proposes to replace the ACA’s expanded Medicaid funding, cost-sharing reduction subsidies, and premium assistance for the Marketplace.  The result would be a reduction in federal health funding for Michigan of $8 billion through 2026, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan health care firm Avalere. Even more troubling, the bill sets the stage for a catastrophic funding cliff in 2027 that will cost our state $140 billion over the next two decades.  Additionally, the legislation imposes cuts to the basic Medicaid program through an onerous per capita cap that would fail to keep up with health costs,” Rep. Levin wrote.

Levin continued, “Protecting the health care of the people of our state should not be a partisan issue. Republican governors from Ohio, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Nevada have all spoken out against this dangerous legislation, which threatens the wellbeing and in many cases the lives of their citizens.  I urge you to stand up for the people of Michigan and speak out about this bill.”

Rep. Levin was Chair of the Ways and Means Committee when the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010.

The full text of the letter is below, and a pdf version is available here.

Dear Governor Snyder:

I am writing to ask you to speak out about the devastating effect that legislation now being considered in the U.S. Senate would have on the people of Michigan.

In March, you wrote to me expressing your major concerns with a House proposal to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.  You highlighted the bill’s dramatic cuts to Medicaid that would “adversely impact” thousands of Michiganders, telling me that “these are our state’s most vulnerable citizens, friends and neighbors.”  The current Graham-Cassidy bill in the Senate also includes severe cuts to Medicaid that in some ways are even worse than those in the bill considered by the House earlier this year.  Not only would these draconian reductions cripple our State’s ability to sustain the tremendous progress we have seen under the Affordable Care Act, which includes reducing Michigan’s uninsured rate by more than half, but they also would undermine our ability to provide care to seniors in nursing homes and carry out other basic functions of the Medicaid program.

Although the bill is being rushed through Congress without even a preliminary analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, it is evident that the people of Michigan would be severely punished by the woefully inadequate block grant that the legislation proposes to replace the ACA’s expanded Medicaid funding, cost-sharing reduction subsidies, and premium assistance for the Marketplace.  The result would be a reduction in federal health funding for Michigan of $8 billion through 2026, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan health care firm Avalere. Even more troubling, the bill sets the stage for a catastrophic funding cliff in 2027 that will cost our state $140 billion over the next two decades.  Additionally, the legislation imposes cuts to the basic Medicaid program through an onerous per capita cap that would fail to keep up with health costs. 

As you know, nearly one million Michiganders rely on coverage through expanded Medicaid and on the Exchange, and such disastrous cuts would have a direct and harmful impact on the affordability of coverage.  This could result in as many as 862,000 fewer Michiganders being enrolled in health insurance, according to one nonpartisan estimate.  Furthermore, the Graham-Cassidy proposal would eliminate the current guarantee against discrimination for those individuals with pre-existing conditions.

The groundswell of opposition to this devastating bill is overwhelming.  A senior official at the Michigan Hospital Association recently described Graham-Cassidy as “unacceptable” noting that “it would take billions of dollars away from Michigan’s Medicaid program” and that its provisions “would reduce the protections of the Affordable Care Act.” At the national level, AARP, American Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Hospital Association, American Cancer Society, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, American College of Physicians, America’s Health Insurance Plans, and many other groups oppose this bill.

Protecting the health care of the people of our state should not be a partisan issue. Republican governors from Ohio, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Nevada have all spoken out against this dangerous legislation, which threatens the wellbeing and in many cases the lives of their citizens.  I urge you to stand up for the people of Michigan and speak out about this bill.

Sincerely,

Sander M. Levin
Member of Congress

 

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