Robert Wood Johnson Foundation CEO: Graham-Cassidy bill is 'bad for health'

Richard Besser, MD, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, joined several other healthcare organizations in denouncing the most recent attempt to repeal and replace the ACA.

Dr. Besser said in a statement Sept. 21, recent healthcare legislation proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., "could result in dramatic damage to the nation's healthcare safety net … [which] is simply bad for health."

The legislation would eliminate important protections for Americans with preexisting health conditions and would weaken the requirement outlined under the ACA mandating insurers cover essential health benefits, like emergency services and maternal and newborn care. Weakening or eliminating those requirements altogether "is not the right future for our country," Dr. Besser said.

"While the Congressional Budget Office has not ...analyzed the [Graham-Cassidy] bill, we believe that the [proposed] caps on benefits and significant reductions in funding for Medicaid benefits and insurance subsidies ... will likely result in millions of Americans losing access to affordable coverage," he said.

A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, told Politico Sept. 20 the Senate could vote on the proposed healthcare legislation next week.

To read Dr. Besser's statement on the bill, click here.

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